Armando Salguero

Setting the record straight on Ryan Tannehill training camp interceptions

Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill, seen during training camp last August just before suffering a season-ending knee injury. His comeback returns to the practice field this week.
Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill, seen during training camp last August just before suffering a season-ending knee injury. His comeback returns to the practice field this week. ctrainor@miamiherald.com

Ryan Tannehill did not throw an interception during Miami Dolphins team drills on Wednesday.

And while the Dolphins would probably shrug at that fact, it might offer some fans reassurance if they’ve been reading and listening to some local reporters covering training camp so far. That’s because some media have made something of a point that Tannehill has been throwing interceptions so far this camp.

They’ve gone on radio to sound this alarm. They’ve raised the possibility that this is the way it might be for the Dolphins quarterback in 2017.

Tannehill, you should know, has thrown four interception this training camp. That’s about one per practice before Tuesday’s off day and Wednesday’s session that was interception free.

Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins quarterback, says, "we don't have time to relax we need to keep up the pressure" in practice. During Monday's practice he scolded some players for relaxing after a live drill.

But here’s where the fake news comes into play:

Of those four interceptions, three happened on passes that were either tipped or hit a receiver in the hands and popped up in the air when it was not caught cleanly. And the fourth? Receiver Jarvis Landry either cut off his route or ran a wrong route so only a defender was where the receiver and ball were supposed to meet.

Does that context make it sound like Tannehill has become an interception machine to you?

And then there is this other bit of perspective:

Reshad Jones, Miami Dolphins safety, says it feels good to be back in pads and at practice after an injury cut his season short last year.

The Dolphins early this camp have been purposefully extending the boundaries of what is safe and what they know works to see if they find something previously undiscovered. In other words, Tannehill has been told by coach Adam Gase to try to throw into windows he probably wouldn’t be exploring in games.

“Early in training camp coach Gase wants me to push myself, wants me to take chances and test my limits and test our receivers’ limits,” Tannehill said. “[We’re told] find those boundaries and the closer we get to games, the more we’ll tighten those things up. We’ll protect the football a little bit more. But right now we’re in the part of the preseason where we’re finding those boundaries, we’re figuring out what those boundaries are and we’ll figure those tings out.”

Adam Gase, Miami Dolphins coach, talks about the contact at Monday's practice that has put starting running back Jay Ajayi on concussion protocol.

Tannehill has been focusing more on some dangerous throws over others.

“Any situation where it's tight coverage and guys are one on one and you try to give them a chance and see what happens,” he said. “I think you know we have a lot of talented guys on the outside and just finding the right balance of giving them a shot and protect the football.

“Each guy plays it a little different. Finding those guys' strengths is important.”

None of this, of course, guarantees Tannehill won’t throw interceptions this coming season. He probably will.

But to suggest he’s having a bad camp or is foreshadowing a regular-season problem based on those early camp interceptions is simply fake news.

Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

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