UM adds a QB; Tannehill loves his new weapons, speaks of his improvement;Fins, Heat, Marlins chatter
Quick Monday update: West Hills Chaminade (Cal.) three-star quarterback Brad Kaaya orally committed to UM today, choosing the Canes over San Diego state. He's the second QB oral commitment in this UM class, but it's not certain if the other (Hialeah's Alin Edouard) will be part of this class.
Kaaya is rated the 19th-best pro style quarterback prospect by rivals.com.
UM offensive coordinator James Coley called Hialeah coach Mark Berman this morning to tell him the offer to Edouard still stands. Berman said Coley and Edouard will talk soon, perhaps this week. Edouard wants to make sure UM still really wants him; he said he has doubts because UM coaches haven't reach out to him.
"If there's a logjam of quarterbacks and he doesn't have the opportunity to compete," then he might need to go elsewhere, Berman said. Edouard remains an oral commitment,but he is listening to other schools just to protect himself.
Eduouard was recruited to UM primarily by Mario Cristobal, who then left for Alabama.
SUNDAY BUZZ COLUMN
Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill will look you in the eye and tell you that “last year wasn’t good enough,” that he simply must improve his completion percentage (23rd in the league) and third-down performance (30th).
But there is so much encouragement in his voice now, optimism rooted in the personal growth he expects from studying “every one of my [rookie] snaps more than once” during the past two months, from identifying his shortcomings and correcting them, and from the shiny new toys general manager Jeff Ireland has given him.
Quick story: Receiver Mike Wallace was running routes recently when Tannehill – impressed by his blazing speed - told him he should go only half speed.
“I am going half speed,” Wallace responded, according to Tannehill.
“Everything I heard about him coming in has proved to be true – he’s as advertised,” Tannehill said. “He’s the fastest guy I’ve ever thrown to. It’s exciting.”
Tannehill’s rookie metrics offer promising signs about his ability to hit Wallace on deep routes.
Consider: According to ProFootballFocus.com, Tannehill completed 43.1 percent of passes thrown 20 yards or more, which was seventh best in the league, trailing only Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Cam Newton, Drew Brees, Russell Wilson and Matt Ryan.
The caveat is only 10.5 percent of his passes were so-called deep passes – compared with 17.3 for Joe Flacco and 16.3 for Wilson. Among starters, only Ryan Fitzpatrick and Matt Schaub threw a lower percentage of deep balls among all their attempts. But with Wallace on board, those deep throws will increase.
And what about his other new receiver, Brandon Gibson?
“I really like Brandon,” Tannehill said. “He moves well. He’s a really natural pass catcher, catches with his hands [not his body]. Smooth in and out of routes. I’m excited we got him. And he really understands, so that you’re able to make a correction the first time and not worry about it again.”
So what did Tannehill notice from studying every one of his rookie snaps?
“There were a lot of throws where my feet were not set, fundamentally not sound, and the ball isn’t as accurate as you want it to be,” he said. “You look at the reasons for that and I hope to correct it, so it’s not an issue going forward.”
There’s no sugarcoating this: His 65.3 rating on third down was lowest among qualifying quarterbacks – a number driven down by seven interceptions. He said that must improve.
He also expects more of himself in the red zone, where Miami scored touchdowns on 55.3 percent of its trips. That was 13th best, but well behind the Patriots’ 70 percent.
But there are some encouraging under-the-radar numbers:
### Tannehill ranked seventh in completion percentage when under pressure, at 50.8.
### Pro Football Focus said that if you take away drops, spikes, batted passes and throwaways for all NFL quarterbacks, Tannehill had a 72.1 accuracy percentage – 13th in the league and well ahead of Eli Manning, Flacco and Andrew Luck, among others. Keep in mind Tannehill had 36 passes dropped (11th most) and 13 batted down (tied for fifth most).
“This young man will be the most improved quarterback in the NFL from year one to year two this year,” Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman told WINZ-940. “I promise you that.”
Teammates rave about how he ran off-season voluntary workouts.
“He’s becoming a leader,” receiver Brian Tyms said. “He would take us into the bubble [throughout March], for an hour and a half or so every day, and we would go through our route tree. He works like hasn’t made it yet.”
### Amid the disappointment of the stadium setback, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross tells us he has received no inquiries to sell the team and has “no interest in selling.” If he changes his mind, a group led by Panthers minority owner Jordan Zimmerman, who owns one of the nation’s largest ad agencies, remains very interested, according to an associate.
### After Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford helped torpedo the Dolphins stadium bill by not allowing the House to vote on it, ProFootballTalk.com speculated that Weatherford has statewide political aspirations and stadium opponent Norman Braman may have promised to assist him.
We asked Braman if he offered such assistance, and he declined to answer, saying it’s “over and done” and that commissioner Roger Goodell’s belief that the stadium needs major upgrades “is nonsense. The stadium is not third rate.”
### The Dolphins were very impressed by how rookie rookie cornerbacks Jamar Taylor and Will Davis looked in rookie minicamp. One source said they appeared more polished than Vontae Davis and Sean Smith in their first minicamps.
### One of the amazing things about Norris Cole’s three-point growth (28 for his past 47, including 8 for
his past 8) is this: Before this run, he was a 32 percent three-point shooter at Cleveland State and began
his NBA career 31 for 152 on threes (20 percent).
“I get up 500 shots a day, from everywhere,” he said, noting that several opposing players and coaches have gone out of their way to approach him this season to compliment him for his overall improvement. Cole does some of his shooting late at night, going back to the gym with his shooting coach, when nobody is around.
### Though Bulls guard Derrick Rose has said he’s not ready to play, you couldn’t tell from his vigorous pregame workout before Game 2, when he drove hard for reverse layups, then swished eight three-pointers in a row from different spots on the floor before missing a few. Rose enjoyed the South Florida trip, anyway, securing a private room at Prime 112 to dine and watch the Oklahoma City game with his family.
### UM, which already has an oral commitment from Hialeah High’s three-star Alin Edouard, also has made offers to several other quarterbacks. Mobile, Ala.-based two-star quarterback Malik Rosier – who ran for 12 touchdowns and threw for 20 last season - told Canesport.com there’s a good chance he will accept UM’s offer over Arkansas State, Southern Mississippi and others.
And California-based Brad Kaaya, rivals.com ’s 19th-best pro style quarterback who has been compared to former FSU starter E.J. Manuel, said UM is “far ahead” of San Diego State and other suitors.
### UM coach Jim Larranaga, who has been speaking to NBA general managers about his five departing players, expects Shane Larkin to be a first-round pick in the draft --- and possibly a lottery-pick (top 14) -- and Kenny Kadji to be a second-rounder. Larranaga also has been getting questions about Reggie Johnson (who needs to lose more weight) and Durand Scott (who needs to prove to teams he can consistently hit three-pointers).
### Marlins players like how manager Mike Redmond has handled the team, including the fact that he hasn’t loudly admonished them at all. “Everything has been positive,” reliever Mike Dunn said. “He hasn’t yelled. He’s not going to embarrass a guy. He talks to guys individually. He has everyone’s back.”
Redmond said there’s no need to yell “because I’ve been so happy with guys’ effort and attitude.”
### I’m on Twitter now: @flasportsbuzz