When Joe Philbin was the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, a common theme was that they wanted quarterback Ryan Tannehill to be responsible for as little as possible, taking decisions out of his hands and not letting him make his own choices in-game.
Now that Adam Gase is in charge, the opposite has begun to happen. Tannehill has taken on more responsibility than he's ever had before, and so far he's done well with it.
"He's done a good job," Gase said on Wednesday.
But Gase doesn't want to just see Tannehill take more responsibility, he wants to push him to his absolute limit, and apparently Gase won't be satisfied until he finds what that limit is.
"I know I put a lot on his plate and it’s almost to the point where it’s probably too much this fast." Gase said. "But I want to see how far … I want to see where the breaking point is and he keeps battling and he keeps doing things (well) in practice. We’ve been putting a lot of pressure on him on offense and then he’s been doing a good job of responding. We might have one day where it doesn’t look great and then the next day we’ll come back and we’ll regroup and kind of adjust some things and then we’re good to go.”
This once again raises the question of why did Philbin and his staff deem it necessary to keep Tannehill from having much say in the offense, but in the long run it doesn't really matter. Tannehill and the rest of the team have moved on, and now that he's being challenged by his new head coach to truly be a leader in the offense, the quarterback admits there have been some bad moments as he works on his comfort level in the new scheme.
“It’s growing each and every day." Tannehill said. "I spent a lot of time trying to understand exactly what to do, where I’m supposed to go with the ball, protection adjustments. I’ve made some mistakes, but I’m learning and getting better each and every day we come out here.”
The differences in coaching philosophies between this regime and the previous one are becoming more and more apparent as time goes on. Gase has now taken a page out of Jack Del Rio's coaching playbook, and the unit that "wins" the last play of practice doesn't have to do push ups.
“That was something that actually (former Denver Broncos Interim Head Coach Jack) Del Rio brought to us in Denver when he took over as the head coach for four weeks, and we started doing these competitive periods on Fridays." Gase said. "It was just the last play of the game, 4 seconds, no timeouts and you need a touchdown to win. The fun part of it is (it’s) five push-ups and you try to get everyone to pick a side."
“It’s competitive out here." Ryan Tannehill said Wednesday. "We got them today; they got us last week. That’s something we want to do every day is come out and compete and I think we’re doing that.”
Competition is something that Adam Gase has been preaching ever since he arrived in Miami, and Ryan Tannehill has been at the forefront of it all. But instead of competing with another person, Tannehill has to compete with himself, and Gase is determined to find out what it's going to take before Tannehill can't handle anymore.
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: @FLSportDebater
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