Dolphins center Mike Pouncey has noticed a change in quarterback Ryan Tannehill:
“He’s always been a leader on this team, but this year I feel like he’s bringing more to the table, more than he ever has before as far as pushing guys and getting guys ready to go,” Pouncey said Wednesday.
“I’m just glad he’s our quarterback. He’s the first one in the building, last one out, and that’s something you have to appreciate at that position. … We think he’s going to be really good.”
Tannehill, entering his fifth season, has more freedom to change plays at the line of scrimmage than ever before, and Pouncey said “this is what he’s been waiting for his whole career, to go up there and be the guy that kind of calls the show.”
The Dolphins have spoken in the past about playing at a faster tempo, but Pouncey said this season it’s really going to happen.
“In past seasons, we tried to run up-tempo, but we’d huddle first,” Pouncey said. “And it’s kind of hard to go in the huddle, rush to the line and be up-tempo. Us being on the line of scrimmage the whole time and pushing the pace like that is going to get the ball snapped a lot faster.
“Our offensive line has to be in really good shape. When we go up there sometimes we’re going to snap it fast; sometimes we’re not. That means the defense is going to play on their toes. … So we should get a lot of offside penalties from the defense.”
▪ Pouncey on rookie offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil: “We think he was the best player in this year’s draft. We’re lucky to have a guy like that. His feet are really good.” … Pouncey said the playbook is “simpler” under coach Adam Gase.
▪ Linebacker Kiko Alonso declined to say whether he has spoken with Dolphins defensive end and former Oregon teammate Dion Jordan, who has applied for reinstatement from NFL suspension. “That guy is a freak athlete, so he can help any defense,” Alonso said. “He has rare athleticism.”
▪ Alonso said he feels great after knee injuries that cost him his 2014 season and sidelined him five games last season. He said he learned “patience” over the past two years. “I like how I feel. I like where I’m at.”
▪ Defensive tackle Chris Jones, who started 23 games and had nine sacks for New England in 2013 and 2014, said he’s over the calf and ankle injuries that sidelined him all of last season. The Dolphins claimed him off waivers on April 18 after the Patriots released him.
“It was a huge relief to get picked up here,” he said.
Jones might emerge as the No. 4 defensive tackle behind Ndamukong Suh, Jordan Phillips and Earl Mitchell. He said Suh “dominates every day” in practice.