Despite recent turnovers, Miami Dolphins optimistic about Ryan Tannehill’s grasp of new offense
08/05/2014 4:21 PM
09/08/2014 8:02 PM
There doesn’t seem to be much concern, at least not publicly, coming from the Dolphins on Ryan Tannehill’s recent spate of turnovers.
In the past two days of training camp, Tannehill has struggled — throwing six interceptions.
Tannehill opened Tuesday by underthrowing his intended receiver, allowing cornerback Cortland Finnegan to make an easy play.
“We were not really moving fast on offense and we’ve got to be moving full speed as soon as practice starts,’’ Tannehill said of Finnegan’s first of three picks in Tuesday’s practice.
“It’s a combination of a bunch of stuff. Some throws we’re just trying to make in practice to see if it’s something we want to move with on during the season. We have other answers on the plays, but the coaching staff wants to take a look at some throws against some different coverages and see if we can complete them.’’
Said coach Joe Philbin: “There were too many interceptions. However, I thought we responded well later in the practice and kind of worked through it.”
Philbin said he liked with the way Tannehill is progressing in Miami’s new offense.
When Miami drafted Tannehill with the eighth overall pick in 2012, the Dolphins had already hired Mike Sherman to be their offensive coordinator.
Sherman was Tannehill’s head coach at Texas A&M, and Miami ran a similar system to what was run with the Aggies.
New coordinator Bill Lazor has changed things up considerably, with Philbin saying that Tuesday was the final day of installing the offensive package.
With a month to go before the season opener at home against New England on Sept. 7, Tannehill still has time to work through the nuances of Miami’s offense.
And things haven’t been all bad.
In Saturday’s scrimmage at Sun Life Stadium, Tannehill looked sharp in throwing two touchdown passes and no interceptions.
Tannehill also had his moments Tuesday as he connected with slot receiver Marcus Thigpen for a couple of nice completions and also took off for a big gain on the ground.
“You’re looking for, on either side of the ball and the special teams, guys to make plays,’’ Philbin said. “So you’re happy when guys are making plays. And sometimes, a pick could be a very competitive play, could be a good throw and the guy is battling for the ball and somebody comes up with the football.’’
Receivers Mike Wallace and Thigpen — who hauled in a bullet pass in the end zone — both said Tannehill is finding his way with the new offense.
Wallace returned Tuesday after missing almost a week with a hamstring injury and agreed that his absence hasn’t helped with timing between he and Tannehill on the deep passes.
“I think from the sidelines, watching, he’s doing a really good job and getting better at it every day,’’ Wallace said. “He’s progressing, and hopefully when I get back out there I can just go right in.”
Added Thigpen: “I see a progression every day, becoming more comfortable with the receivers and the offense. We just all have to come together, get all on the same page. We know he can get the job done.’’
Miami opens its exhibition schedule Friday at Atlanta and Tannehill said he didn’t know whether Philbin would give him a little extra work in the preseason game.
“However much time he gets me in the first team, then that’s what we are going to do,’’ Tannehill said.
The Dolphins were without a few new players Tuesday, including tight end Michael Egnew, who sustained a concussion Monday.
Also out for at least a few days: defensive end Olivier Vernon (back), running back Daniel Thomas (hamstring) and tight end Harold Hoskins (hamstring).
With Vernon out, Dion Jordan worked with the first team despite being suspended for the opening four games of the season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.• Backup quarterback Matt Moore (shoulder) returned to practice Tuesday and ran the second-team offense.
• Thigpen continues to work toward making the Dolphins roster as a receiver and return man after previously being a running back.
Thigpen, who caught eight passes for 97 yards and a touchdown last year in his second season with Miami, is battling rookie Jarvis Landry.
“I feel like I grasp the offense very well and have been doing a lot of studying,’’ Thigpen said. “This is something new for me, being a running back, but I think the change has been good. I’ve been able to go full speed. I’m trying to get in space, be a playmaker.’’• Wednesday’s practice is the final one open to the public before Friday’s game. The workout, held at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, begins at 8 a.m.
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