Miami Dolphins feel Ryan Tannehill (knee) will be mobile

Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) rolls out to throw a 53-yard pass to tight end MarQueis Gray against the Steelers. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill rolls out to throw a 53-yard pass to tight end MarQueis Gray against the Steelers. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

INDIANAPOLIS — Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase usually provides really expansive answers.

But when asked if he is concerned about quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s mobility following a knee injury that ended his last season, Gase was succinct.

“No,” Gase said at the NFL Scouting Combine. “He feels good about it. He feels good about the brace he’s going to wear. I’m not worried about it.”

Gase has tapped into Tannehill’s athleticism. Last season, Tannehill was at his best when rolling out of the pocket, usually on a designed play.

At times, Tannehill even displayed some nifty improvisation.

Gase believes that Tannehill grew in the area of leadership after the injury.

Unable to focus on playing, Tannehill focused on helping teammates.

“When he got hurt, I think that was an even bigger development for him,” Gase said. “Just seeing him in meetings. I told him in the season, ‘You’re actually going to grow for the better because of this.’ He took a different mentality in our meetings. You saw him teaching, coaching a little more, and guys accepting it. That was probably a good thing for him, even though for all of us to watch him in a cast and on crutches. At the end of the day, it was probably good for him.”

Tannehill finished 12th in the NFL in quarterback rating.

Tannehill finished 6th in the NFL in passing yards per attempt.

Tannehill finished 6th in the NFL in completion percentage.

He had a very good season. He had his best season.

Oh, and he ran, too.

Jay Ajayi ran for a first down 60 times. Guess who finished second on the team in that category?

Tannehill, with 10. (Kenyan Drake had 9. Damien Williams had 8).

Dolphins general manager Chris Grier confirmed Tannehill is expected to avoid knee surgery and participate this spring.

“Ryan has done a tremendous job working,” Grier said. “He’ll be there in April when they start with his teammates. He’s fine, he’s good. I saw him the other day and he’s working out, he’s doing a great (job). So he’ll be healthy, he’s ready to go and I know he’ll be excited for next year.”

Gase believes Tannehill will be even better in 2017.

“I was able to just be with him that spring and see who he was and how he went about his business, his athletic ability and his ability to be accurate and throw down the field,” Gase said. “It was really a matter of time of just showing it in a game. Which he did.

“We went through some rough times early in the season. I probably put it more on myself than him. It was us trying to figure each other out, all the guys on offense trying to figure each other out. As we got going and we kind of rolled a little bit last year, he really played well and did exactly what we needed him to do. Guys made plays when they had to, third downs there were some plays that he made there, and ad-libbed a lot during the season.”

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