DAVIE — Ryan Tannehill seemed to be walking around Miami’s practice just fine on Tuesday afternoon, but of course he didn’t have a helmet and didn’t have full pads.
Tannehill’s knee isn’t right, even though nobody will say for sure that they know he’s having surgery.
But Tannehill was at the side of Miami’s new starting quarterback, Jay Cutler, at one point even fist-bumping with the man wearing number 6.
Brandon Doughty gave up number 6 in exchange for 7 and actually played better on Tuesday.
But how difficult it must be for Tannehill to help a guy who is presumably taking his job for this season. And who, although this seems unlikely, could even vie for it again in 2018.
“We’ve talked about staying engaged,” coach Adam Gase said of Tannehill. “He’s going to be able to help me a lot. So you know it’s not an easy situation for him to be in. It’s tough to stand there and watch when he’s worked as hard as he has to come back. They’ve all been together for the last seven or eight months and it’s just tough when you put that much work in there. He’ll stay involved. It’s important for him to help us win. I know he has to do whatever he has to do to get healthy.”
Backup quarterback Matt Moore occasionally chatted up Cutler. Moore is the quintessential veteran backup. On and off the record, Dolphins rave about Moore’s professionalism.
Moore led Cutler into drills on Tuesday. And he threw more passes as Cutler’s takes it slowly in his return from, well, not really throwing a football very much.
Cutler looked sharp. And strong-armed. As advertised.
Gase says he knows the plays in the playbook, even though some of them have different names now.
Interestingly, it turned out the Patriots and Broncos and Bears were among the teams who had terminology that was a bit too similar. So the Dolphins and Gase have mixed some things up since the quarterback and coach teamed up in Chicago.
Tannehill can help. And it seems he’s all-in on helping Cutler, the same way he helped Moore after his initial knee injury near the end of last season.
Cutler appreciated the warm welcome.
“It’s a tough situation for him,” Cutler said. “I’ve been hurt before. I know what it’s like to feel like you’re going to have a great year and something like this is a setback; but he’s been great. This is Day 1 … I guess yesterday was Day 1; but since I got here yesterday, he’s been supportive and helping out the receivers. He’s vocal. He just wants to help this team win games.”
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