Ryan Tannehill has been with the Miami Dolphins for three years and has improved each season. Several weeks ago, he signed a contract extension that will keep him in Miami through 2020. With the extension in place, the Dolphins have put their full faith in him to be the face of their franchise and the quarterback of the future. Now, it’s up to him to continue what he’s been doing and to make himself even better. Fortunately, that’s exactly what he’s been doing thus far in the offseason.
“I definitely think I am growing. I try to get better each and every day, learn from my mistakes, make good decisions, and put the ball in the right location. There are definitely plays that I wish that I could have back. There are always things that I am looking to improve upon, but I think I am learning from every rep and filing those reps away. I feel really comfortable in this offense right now in the sense of knowing exactly where everyone is supposed to be and being more of a coach on the field this year as opposed to trying to learn the whole system with everyone else like I did last year.”
Of course, Tannehill is human and needs to spend time with his wife and family so it’s not like he’s in the playbook 24 hours a day and seven days a week. So what else has he been doing in his spare time?
“I always enjoy my offseasons here in South Florida. You can’t beat the warm weather, sunshine, the water – I enjoy fishing, get out as much as I can to fish. I always enjoy the downtime and doing the things I like to do away from camp,” he said. “I had a lot of fun things off the field – had the camp last week, or two weeks ago, so that was a great time, got to spend some time with the kids, and just the team this year is great. I think we added a bunch of great pieces, bunch of different pieces that all contribute in different ways and really make us tough to defend.”
Many of the local media in South Florida have talked about how it seems that Tannehill has taken the next step thus far in practices that they’ve watched. Besides taking that next step on the field, he is expected to take a big step in a leadership off the field as well. Tannehill has no problem with that and already considers himself a big part of what the team does, even hinting that he’s had a voice in how the front office has shaped the roster over the past several months.
“I think we have a lot of great leaders, but I definitely consider myself a big leader on this team. As far as the franchise, they have been great to me this offseason as far as communication through free agency, through the team last year. Obviously the contract is huge. They put their money where their mouth is so to speak with the contract and really taking my viewpoint and my thoughts on things throughout the offseason.”
Of course, every player will say that they’ve had a great offseason, they are ready to take the next step and that they are in the best shape of their life. Thus, it’s always good when you receive a public vote of confidence from your head coach.
“He’s had a good offseason, he really has,” Joe Philbin said. “He and I visited one on one a little bit yesterday and talked about some things. I think today you saw some really good things down in the red zone. Like I said, we spent a lot of time down there this offseason. We’ve worked on the chemistry between him and the receivers and conceptually we’ve added a couple things that are slightly different and then reinforced other things. I think it’s been a productive offseason for him; I think he feels good about it. He’s the type of guy that’s going to continue working here in these five weeks leading up to training camp.”
All signs point to Tannehill having a huge season and a continuation of his improvement over the past three seasons. If that happens, he will cement himself as one of the top quarterbacks in the National Football League.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs