Dolphins' Tannehill wants to take ownership of Gase's offense
Steve Mitchell / USA TODAY Sports

DAVIE, Fla. - Ryan Tannehill threw a pass Thursday and then fell to the turf face down, which happened a lot last season.

This time there was no contact. Instead, Tannehill did push-ups as punishment for his errant throw at a net during passing drills in a Miami Dolphins OTA.

''I missed the target,'' he said with a smile. ''So self-induced, 20 push-ups.''

That's the latest of many wrinkles in the Dolphins' offense this spring. They have a new coach, new coordinator, new guard and new playbook, which they hope will make Tannehill look like a new quarterback.

He's 29-35 in four NFL seasons, and has yet to lead Miami to the playoffs, or even a winning record. Executive vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum decided Tannehill needed more help, and hired as coach Adam Gase, who enjoyed success as an assistant working with Peyton Manning, Tim Tebow and Jay Cutler.

Gase hired as offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen, who coached Manning and Andrew Luck. And then the Dolphins used a first-round draft pick to shore up their perennially shaky pass protection, selecting Laremy Tunsil to start at guard.

For Tannehill, OTAs are about learning Gase's offense and taking on more responsibility. Under former offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, Tannehill's ability to audible was limited, and that will no longer be the case.

''With Bill's offense, we were kind of locked in,'' Tannehill said. ''What he called was what we ran. Now there's a lot of freedom in what we do, and I think that's going to make us always on the attack. We're not going to have to sit on our heels and feel like the defense is coming after us. This offense entails a lot of fun stuff for a quarterback to be able to direct traffic.''

The relationship between Tannehill and the 38-year-old Gase is off to a good start, although it hasn't been tested by any losses yet. Tannehill laughed when asked if he has seen Gase get angry.

''He hasn't blown a gasket or anything like that,'' Tannehill said. ''It's always a possibility if things aren't going well.''

Things actually didn't go that well Thursday in an organized team activity that was rather disorganized.

''We had some mess-ups,'' Tannehill said. ''We had some plays that didn't work out the way we wanted them to.''

Gase agreed, but said he's pleased overall with Tannehill's progress. Coaches are limited in how much time they can spend with players at this time of year, and Gase said Tannehill often studies on his own.

''His intelligence is off the charts,'' Gase said. ''He has done everything we have asked him to do, and has spent a lot of time on things outside this building. It shows in the way he is able to call plays in the huddle, and how aggressive he has been in learning the offense.''

Tannehill said he wants to take ownership of Gase's playbook and learn it like a coach.

''I want to be a guy on the field that anyone can come to and ask a question, and I have the answer,'' Tannehill said.

Here's a question: Will he do push-ups during games?

''I don't think so,'' Tannehill said with a laugh.


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Dolphins' Tannehill wants to take ownership of Gase's offense
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