When Adam Gase was introduced to South Florida as the Miami Dolphins head coach, the obvious question about what he thinks of quarterback Ryan Tannehill came up very quickly. And Gase basically stiff-armed the question because the new coach said he hadn't seen or studied Tannehill enough to give an expert opinion.
That was 20 days ago and a lot has happened since then -- namely Gase and his coaches have been grinding on Tannehill tape. And now their opinions on the player are mostly formed.
And the opinion, according to a source, is that Adam Gase is more than pleased with what he's seen of Ryan Tannehill on tape.
Indeed, Gase has told multiple people within the Dolphins organization that he doesn't quite understand why some people are up in arms about Tannehill because what he sees on tape is the makings of a good NFL quarterback.
That's high praise from a coach who was hired primarily on his credentials as a quarterback guru whisperer mentor Sherpa.
Gase helped turn around Jay Cutler's career arc in Chicago in 2015, making a player who had been somewhat unhappy and a turnover machine on the field into a 92.3 rated passer who seemed to enjoy playing again. Gase also was the Denver Broncos offensive coordinator in 2013 when Peyton Manning threw an NFL record 55 TD passes.
And now he's convinced, per sources, he has a good working foundation in Tannehill that can be molded into a good quarterback,
That feeling, by the way, is now coursing throughout the Dolphins coaching staff. In short, everyone is on board with Tannehill.
“I really enjoyed watching him," offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen said of Tannehill Thursday. "I haven’t seen him a bunch. I visited with him and his wife when I came in for the interview and I had a great breakfast with them and as much as you can do in an hour there, but I’ve been extremely impressed with him. He’s been extremely productive and he’s played some awfully long stretches of good football. He seems like a guy that has all of the things that you’re looking for. A guy who wants to be good, who has it in perspective and (I’m) really looking forward to seeing him on the field a little bit."
This is by no means to be understood as Gase and his coaching staff thinking Tannehill is perfect or not in need of serious honing. There are issues that are not necessarily going to be shared with the public right away that the new staff, led by Gase, will work to improve -- both in Tannehill and around Tannehill.
One obvious issue the coaches are going to make sure to correct is Tannehill getting hit time and again, every game. Recognizing Tannehill has been sacked 184 times in his four seasons, the Dolphins new staff is going to make sure to cut down on the pressure. That will be addressed any number of ways, including improving the offensive line, getting the football out quick and improving Tannehill's recognition and reaction times.
But the foundation -- the arm strength, the competitiveness, the intelligence, the athletic ability, the work ethic, and other traits -- are apparently there, Gase and his coaches believe.
They are convinced right now the Dolphins have a quarterback.