Miami Dolphins want Ryan Tannehill not to overthink; let it rip

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, wearing a leg brace, throws a ball during an OTAs practice at the Miami Dolphins training facility in Davie. (Miami Herald)

DAVIE — Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill didn’t have a great practice on Tuesday, the first day of mandatory minicamp.

Tannehill was intercepted by Tony Lippett. He was nearly intercepted by Xavien Howard. He seemed to overthrow a few passes.

But coach Adam Gase said Tuesday that overall, Tannehill’s accuracy and ball placement has actually improved since the first organized team activity.

“It’s been really good,” Gase said. “We’ve had some days where he’s probably a little picky when he misses a throw. He’s pretty hard on himself. And it’s a good thing. He wants to be held accountable. He wants those guys to have extreme confidence. When they really run a great route and create major separation in that he’s putting them in a position to not only catch the ball but he wants to get them the ball where he can catch it and give them a chance to run after catch. I think that’s a high priority for him, making sure he gives them the best ball possible.”

For Tannehill, placing the ball in a position for the receiver to gain optimum yards after catch is a point of emphasis. Think Jarvis Landry on the move or Kenny Stills having beat his man and catching the ball in full stride.

“You know some throws I was really happy with and some that I’d like to have back,” Tannehill said after practice on Tuesday. “That’s probably pretty standard throughout every practice. A little higher, a little lower. It’s something we’re constantly looking at. Giving ourselves grades on ball location.”

Tannehill agreed with Gase’s assessment that he is tough on himself.

“As soon as you think you’ve got it, that’s when you run into trouble,” Tannehill said. “You’ve seen a lot of good players over their careers get to a point where they start to fall off. It’s a series of consequential small steps. It happens over the course of the season and training camp. It’s just constantly pushing himself. Taking notes. Seeing what you need to do to get better.”

With less of a focus on Tannehill’s knee (it appears fine) the focus can shift to his continuing evolution as a thrower. Consider that in his first season in Gase’s offense, Tannehill posted a career-high 93.5 passer rating.

Gase has built up Tannehill’s confidence. Gase wants Tannehill to play more freely than he has in previous years.

“He just encourages me in what I see,” Tannehilll said. “He’s supportive. He coaches me and corrects me when things aren’t done right. He’s a big supporter of whatever you feel you see, you can’t think about it. You’ve got to just let it rip, and make it happen. That’s something I’ve been trying to work on this season. Don’t think about it. Just let it rip.”

Gase sees a more comfortable quarterback.

“He’s gotten better throughout the entire offseason process,” Gase said. “And you can see he’s more comfortable with what we’re doing. He has a really good grasp of every little detail to fine tune. And when you start being able to put your spin on how you see things and you have the ability to change plays at the line of scrimmage. And you start going and you feel really great where you are in the offense, you have a lot of confidence to make those adjustments before the ball is snapped.”

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