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Saturday morning quick hits: Dolphins, Hurricanes, Panthers, Heat signing

Some quick notes:

### No matter how you slice the statistics, Ryan Tannehill's numbers are impressive. Here's one nugget that Pro Football Focus came up with: If you remove drops, spikes, throw aways and batted balls,  Tannehill has completed an impressive 78.2 percent of his passes this season. That’s fourth-best in the league behind only Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers and Jay Cutler.

Here’s what Saints coach Sean Payton said he noticed about Tannehill watching film: “He’s certainly confident - you can just see that. Just the last game in the two minute drill, he understands his progressions, his fundamentals. His accuracy has been outstanding. Most importantly, that position, the key is to lead their team to wins and give them a chance. And you can see him do that.”

### Payton is concerned with Miami’s offense because “you’ve got a lot of different targets that make it challenging to defend…. Charles Clay is someone that’s sudden and has a great understanding of the passing game.  I think also when you put the receivers that they have outside that position it becomes hard to say, ‘We’re going to double this guy or help this guy’ and often times those interior players such as a Charles Clay or the running backs become very good targets, and very dependable targets.”

### Through four games, Jake Long has allowed two sacks and 14 quarterback hurries for St. Louis. In three games, Jonathan Martin -– who replaced Long at left tackle for the Dolphins -- has allowed two sacks and eight hurries. But Long has been the far better run blocker. Pro Football Focus rates Martin 67 of 71 tackles in run-blocking. Among those who are worse: Dolphins right tackle Tyson Clabo and Baltimore’s Bryant McKinnie, whom Miami tried to sign.

### Because Corn Elder has done such a good job at cornerback for UM in practice, he won’t redshirt and the UM basketball team won’t get him until possibly January. But Jim Larranaga said he still hopes that Elder can help UM at point guard this season.

“I’m very pleased that Al Golden and the football program allow Corn to even consider basketball after the football season is over,” Larranaga said Friday. “Corn joined us for a few workouts this summer. He got hurt after the third one, so he didn’t get to do much more than that. But Coach Golden and I have spoken about him and Al has said that he’s a great kid, great athlete, and great energy, really demonstrates a lot of qualities that will be successful in football. They definitely correlate to the basketball court.”

### Though UM lost six of its top seven players from last season’s team, forward Erik Swoope said Friday: “Our athleticism is, if you ask me, 10 times what it was last year. I know we’re not as big, but I’ve seen in practice the new guys, the program that we’ve instilled last year, the guys’ athleticism, their speed, and their quickness is outstanding. To be honest, there’s going to be some fun games to watch.”

### NBA commissioner David Stern introduced the Panthers’ new owner, Vinnie Viola, to commissioner Gary Bettman, and the two had lunch a few weeks ago –- setting in motion steps that led to Viola purchasing the Panthers.

“If you want to come into the league, it helps to have lunch with me,” Bettman cracked at the Panthers press conference Friday.

Viola said he will be “very involved” but “I don’t see myself suggesting draft picks or trades.”

## Though the odds are against guard Roger Mason Jr. making the Heat, don’t completely discount his chances. He’s a career 38.4 shooter from three-point range, and 41.5 last season (66 for 159 on threes for New Orleans). Mason, 33, averaged 5.3 points in 69 games last season. Mason's signing gives the Heat 19 players. Teams can invite as many as 20 to camp.

### Gatorade will not renew the expiring contract of Kevin Durant, which is notable only because some speculated that his testy exchange with Dwyane Wade on Twitter this week was done to benefit Gatorade. (Durant and Wade taped a Gatorade commercial several months ago.) Wade insisted their exchange was not a joke, but he had nothing to do with Gatorade dropping Durant.

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