Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill
Two moments from Wednesday's Miami Dolphins practice surely got a smile out of Adam Gase when he reviewed the tape.
One was great: Albert Wilson getting behind two defensive backs for a runaway touchdown.
The other was not: Danny Amendola getting stripped by rookie cornerback Jalen Davis after a catch across the middle.
In those two moments, he saw the Dolphins' plan at wide receiver (and their locker room as a whole) come to fruition.
Wilson beat rookie defensive backs Minkah Fitzpatrick and Taveze Calhoun on a go route, flashing the speed that makes Wilson confident that he's already the team's fastest player.
As for Amendola, the New England transplant? He had a rough day. He shouted frustration (and even threw his helmet) after three bad plays, most notably his lost fumble.
Certainly, Gase prefers that not happen in a game.
But he absolutely loves the fire Amendola showed afterward, getting so upset that offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, offensive lineman Daniel Kilgore and wide receiver Jakeem Grant all went to console him after.
"That’s him," Gase said. "That’s how he’s been his whole career. Our defensive guys found out that first hand last year. ... He’s a competitor, he’s a perfectionist. He’s going to compete, whether it’s Day 2 of OTAs or in the weight room during game week.
"It’s just his makeup," Gase continued. "It’s how he’s been. He’s beat the odds that he wasn’t going to ever play in the NFL."
The Dolphins did not have enough of that last year, the team believed, and so they went out and found guys who were demanding when the world was watching on Sundays, and when they were going through a noncontact drills on a swampy May afternoon.
The team gambled that adding Amendola and Wilson would more than make up for the loss of Landry, who shattered records in his four seasons with the Dolphins.
And so quarterback Ryan Tannehill has spent the offseason not only rehabbing his injured left knee, but also getting to know the players who hold, at least in part, his fate in their hands. That's why Tannehill started working on his own with Amendola not long after the Dolphins signed the latter from New England in March.
"I’m really excited about the guys that we brought in," Tannehill said. "I think we’ve brought in veteran guys, guys that play at high levels, guys that played for championships and can really help us.
"The combination of the guys we have, we really have a stacked receiver room right now that you feel really confident, no matter who’s in the game that we have good matchups and can win," he continued. "Add Albert Wilson, add Danny Amendola, Frank Gore in the backfield. All of these guys have played at a really high level for a long time, and I’m excited about playing with him."
It will be fascinating to see how Gase deploys Wilson, who was not a high-usage player in Kansas City. Landry caught nearly as many passes in 2017 (112) as Wilson has in his four-year career with the Chiefs (124).
But Wilson has an ability Landry never will: game-changing speed. He flashed it Wednesday, roasting those young defenders on a go-route and catching a perfect pass from Brock Osweiler.
And unlike Landry, he will play all over the field. In just two days of practice, Wilson has already taken reps at every wide receiver position. The Dolphins want to be versatile and unpredictable, and Wilson should help with that.
Still, Landry and Tannehill had a level of trust that took years to build. Tannehill's knee might be fully healthy, but his timing and chemistry with his new weapons could take a bit longer.
"Losing Jarvis is tough," Tannehill said. "He’s a heck of a competitor. One of the most competitive guys on the football field. Loves the game, loves playing, loves competing. I think everybody saw that. Obviously, it’s not the easiest guy to replace. It’s tough to replace."