When Ryan Tannehill drops back to throw in practice, Dolphins defensive players haven’t been the only ones chasing him.
His head coach, Adam Gase, sometimes joins the fray.
“It’s cool; when I’m throwing, he’s rushing me, making a move around in the pocket,” Tannehill said Wednesday after the second full practice under Gase. “He’s a hands-on coach. When guys see the head guy running around breaking a sweat and doing things to make us better, it creates even more of a level of respect.”
Over the past three months, Gase and Tannehill have cultivated a very good relationship, forged on the golf course and on the field and in meeting rooms and over meals, and Tannehill said he believes he can reach new heights under Gase, who extracted more from Tim Tebow and Jay Cutler than other coaches could.
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“He’s easy to communicate with and relate to,” Tannehill said. “I’m impressed all around with him, the way he goes about things, the way he thinks of the game, the way he’s progressive in the offense, the way he challenges us. He’s really in tuned with his players.”
And Gase’s initial impressions after watching Tannehill this week?
“I didn’t realize how live his arm is,” Gase said. “The more I watch him throw, it’s effortless. That ball travels down the field pretty good.”
Tannehill likes several aspects of Gase’s offense, including “the way he wants to attack the field; the multitude of things we can do whether it’s [at the line of scrimmage], in the huddle, moving guys around, creating matchups. He focuses a lot on that and that’s what this game is – it’s a game of matchups. I’m excited for that.”
Still, as he enters his fifth NFL season, he admits learning his third new offense is “tough. There’s a learning curve. That’s why we’re here now. We want to speed it up. They are really challenging us with what they’re making us learn. Guys are retaining the information.”
Tannehill also tried to help speed up the process by throwing twice a week to his receivers and tight ends the past several weeks. “Got a lot of work in and I think it’s showing now,” he said.
Incidentally, Tannehill said wife Lauren is due to deliver their first child in July, before the start of training camp. “I’ll be around, see the birth, have some time with the baby.”
THIS AND THAT
• Tannehill said he isn’t upset about Ndamukong Suh not showing up for voluntary practice this week.
“I’m sure he’s working to get better doing his own thing,” he said. “No hard feelings. He’s done things a certain way his whole career, a process he goes through both mentally and physically. Sometimes you have to go through your own process to feel fully prepared in your own way.”
Everyone other than Suh has been in attendance except Koa Misi (working off the field because he’s sick), Mike Pouncey (missed Wednesday with an illness), Mario Williams (attending to a pre-approved personal matter) and Reshad Jones (unhappy about his contract).
• Though the Dolphins are expected to select a running back at some point in the draft, Jay Ajayi said he’s not concerned and Gase keeps praising him.
“He looks out there right now and he knows he’s the starter,” Gase said. “He’s showing me a lot of great things. I like his skill set. He’s impressed me more both days, from the first day to the second day.”
• Does being young help Gase relate to players? "I don't know,” he said. “I've never been old yet."