Four years as the Miami Dolphins starting quarterback and Ryan Tannehill's never really been the leader of this team. Not the team. Not the offense. Early on, back in 2012, he wasn't even the leader in the quarterback room.
And Dolphins coaches have never really complained about this issue because, well, they had something to do with the fact the man who barked signals in games didn't show much bite with his teammates.
Yes, Tannehill was sometimes aloof, according to some past teammates.
Yes, he was seemingly too caught up in his own job and perfecting that to start trying to lift teammates.
And, yes, the coaches didn't really lift Tannehill toward a leadership role. They never really helped him be that guy.
Well, these past couple of days have offered the clearest and most obvious example of how that is working out now. And for those short on time and wanting instant answers, it seems to be working well so far.
The Dolphins offense played like poo during the scrimmage against the defense Saturday. Players were off Sunday. And when players gathered Monday and Tuesday, Tannehill talked to his unit, admonished his unit, implored his unit.
In other words he did leader things.
“We talked. I’m not going to get into what I said, but everyone already knew that it wasn’t acceptable how we came out and practiced," Tannehill said. "We have limited days. (The) season is coming upon us, and we have to be ready to go when the first game hits. (We) can’t have a wasted day, and to me, that was kind of a wasted day. I think everyone realizes that and doesn’t want to let it happen again.
“It’s part of my role to push the guys around me to be the best they can be. I think that’s part of being a leader -- pushing the guys around you to be the best they can be. That, obviously, wasn’t the best that we could be. You have to try to do everything you can to consistently push guys around you to elevate their game.”
Three years ago, two years ago, maybe even last year under Bill Lazor as offensive coordinator and Joe Philbin as head coach, it is no cinch Tannehill takes over and talks to the offense after a similar outing. And, believe me, there were similar outings by the offense last season.
But then again how could a guy that couldn't take over a play on the field -- in the form of an audible -- feel like he could take over a meeting?
That has changed and continues to evolve. Tannehill continues to grow as a leader.
"He's been good," Gase said. "I thought today was one of those days were I felt like he came out with a purpose and was very aggressive as far as he was chirping a little bit out there, especially amongst our guys. I think he was more focused on our group, just really preaching what we've been talking about like sticking with our process, positive plays (and) getting completions.
"I thought he did a good job of when we did get some pressure, he got rid of the ball (and) wasn't trying to hang on anything. Today was a good day for him as far as, I felt I saw some growth there as far as his personality coming out and taking control of the offense."
And that is definitely a growth that Gase is watering in hopes it sprouts into a Redwood.
“I think Adam (has) completely enabled me," Tannehill said. "I think I have the credibility now to pretty much demand excellence out of these guys. That’s what I’m trying to do.”
Think about those words. Ryan Tannehill hasn't thrown a TD under Adam Gase. He hasn't won a game. Goodness, he hasn't even played a game.
But now he feels a newfound credibility to make demands on his teammates.
Impressive work by a coaching staff.