Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
When Ryan Tannehill steps onto the field Sunday in Denver, he'll be seeing some familiar faces on the other side of the field but none more so than Von Miller, who he was teammates with at Texas A & M. Tannehill, who said he had a bunch of stories from their days together, said he couldn't share most of them in public but did give some insight as to what kind of player he was.
“He’s a heck of a football player. In college, we just kind of had to disregard him because if we blew the whistle every time he got a sack in practice we would have never gotten a play off. We just had to disregard him. He would run by the quarterback and everybody else would just keep playing. I know his talent and things he can do. I think he’s only gotten better with his time in the NFL. He’s gotten bigger, but he still has all his quickness. He’s really a tough guy to block no matter how you cut it.”
Tannehill, who joked that Miller would run out of things to say to him during practice because of the fact that he was in the backfield so often, also has some experience with Peyton Manning, calling him one of the greatest of all time.
"You certainly have to put him up there. I haven’t done any statistical study of quarterbacks. But you look at what he’s done in his career. The consistency of his play over, I don’t know, 18 years. I don’t know what year he’s at right now, but he’s obviously been doing it at such a high level for such a long time and has just about every record there is. So if he’s not the best, he’s definitely right up there with anyone else that you can name," he said. "“He does so many things well. At this point in his career, the biggest thing he does is get the ball out of his hands quickly. He anticipates throws and throws into the windows before they are even windows, and they’re usually right there on the money. So that’s definitely something I look at and can appreciate.”
Tannehill attended Peyton Manning's passing camp when he was in college entering his senior year. However, it wasn't as a participant but instead, a counselor.
“It was great. It was a good time to not only meet Peyton and Eli and some other pro quarterbacks, but to mingle with a bunch of the other guys who are now in the league that I came out at the same time as.”
In addition to Miller and Manning, Tannehill also played against cornerback Chris Harris in college and says that he was good player who is very quick.
“He’s good. I think he has quickness. His reaction time is pretty fast. He plays the ball well when it is in the air. I think you look at it, it’s his all-around game. He’s a good player, and he’s making plays right now. He’s getting better as the season goes on. If you look back early on the year to where he is now, I definitely see him getting better as the year goes on.”
In a game where every possible advantage matters, having the experience of knowing these guys and also going up against them in the past will certainly help on both sides. Who takes advantage of it the most is the question that will be answered on Sunday.