Each day after practice players and coaches are brought into the Media Room to speak with the press. The questions cover a range of thoughts and ideas. After Monday's practice, starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill was front and center under the media lights to answer a few probing questions.
Question one put Tannehill on the spot about his playing time in this week's final pre-season game against New Orleans. How early would he put on his visor.
“I don’t know. You’ll have to ask coach about that one. I don’t usually wear a visor, though. I just usually wear a normal hat.”
With the loss of Dustin Keller at tight end whom Tannehill was getting comfy with in the passing game, how is his comfort level with Brandon Gibson working out of the slot receiver position and will he be the new safety blanket?
“Yes, he’s been coming a long ways for us. He’s kind of new to this (because) he didn’t play in the slot last year, so he’s learned a lot, come a long way since the spring and continuously getting better. You can see him just getting more comfortable running the routes and really did a great job getting open. That’s what we brought him here to do, win in the slot for us. I think he’s going to do that all year.”
Will Gibson become more a regular target now that Keller is on IR?
“He’s a weapon. I don’t know about bigger target. I can’t say any of that. I know he is a weapon, and we plan to use him.”
Where does Tannehill grade himself out at this point?
“I’m just continuing to work to get better. I’m not where I want to be at the end of the year, but I’m excited where I’m at and where the team is at this point. We want to work to get better every day and use every opportunity we can, but the work is not done. We are still working to get better.”
Just how much better can you get this year?
“A lot better. It’s hard to quantify. There are so many instances where I can be better than last year, and I feel I have worked to improve those areas all offseason heading into this year.”
Looking around his draft class and seeing other qb's going to the Pro Bowl, does that add pressure to his game?
“No. I’m a fan of the game. I enjoy watching those guys, and they did a great job last year. It’s not something where there is any more pressure or anything like that. I just try to control what I can control and do everything I can to be a better quarterback to help this team win. At the end of the day that’s what I’m here to do, to help this team win.”
When you see other rookie qb success, is that a motivation?
“My motivation is winning. That’s the only motivation I need.”
What's your feeling playing in the final pre-season game when you see other qb's going down within the division?
“It’s up to coach. It’s totally his call. If he calls my name, I’ll be ready to go. It’s totally up to coach. If he gives me the opportunity, then we will take advantage of it. If not, we will practice hard and try to help the other guys as much as we can.”
On the play where you pump-faked Mike Wallace, what did you see?
“We had a double-move called on that play. He got pushed out of bounds on his double-move. I saw him widen out of bounds, and I don’t want to waste a throw. So I brought it down to the check down (receiver). There is not a whole lot that’s going to take you off of that, either a safety over the top, the corner stays really high or he gets pushed out of bounds. That’s about it.”
What is the biggest difference in the passing game this year – formation wise?
“We have a few more weapons I guess on the outside. We wouldn’t be able to utilize those guys. We brought in Mike Wallace for a reason. We want to get him downfield. We want to get him the ball. We retained (Brian) Hartline and signed (Brandon) Gibson. We have a lot of guys we want to be able to get the ball to. Now it’s just about fine-tuning all the things throughout camp and the preseason and carrying all the things we think will win.”
Looking at the division with the setbacks the Bills and Jets have suffered, what are your feelings?
“Those things don’t concern us. We just control we can control here. We don’t worry what happens outside of this building, outside of what we control. Things are going to happen to us and things are going to happen to other teams. If you start worrying about that, then you are going to get wrapped up in a lot of things you don’t need to.”
Are you working with a cavalcade of tight ends in practice?
“It’s constant work with everybody, not only the tight ends but everyone. We were just a hair off on a couple of things with Charles (Clay), and we’ll get them fixed. We talked about it. We watched the film and got everything cleaned up. I think we are good to go.”
What did Charles Clay struggle with during the game?
“I don’t think he struggled. I think the (throw) down the middle the defensive back made a great diving play and got his hand in there. It looks bad. It looks like (Clay) dropped it, but in all actuality the defensive back made a great play to get his hand in there. You know (Clay) brings a lot of good things to the table, and we will utilize those.”
Final question, with the weapons you have right now, what is the best way to score in the Red Zone?
“I think we have the running backs who can run in the Red Zone. Daniel (Thomas) is a big guy who runs hard. We didn’t do a good job of it on Saturday, and that’s one thing we came away with that we want to look at right away. What did we not do well down in the Red Zone running the ball and throwing the ball? We saw what we did wrong where we made our mistakes. It’s tight down there. Guys are coming downhill quick, and you have to be great with your aiming points and great with landmarks to get downhill quickly. That will be something we will work on as well as completing the passes we have. We had two chances where if I throw a little bit better of a ball (then) we have a touchdown. At the end of the day even if we are not running the ball getting touchdowns from the six-yard line, we had two great shots at the endzone where if I throw a little bit better of a ball down the middle to Gibson and Hartline on the other end, we have touchdowns coming away with 21 points at halftime.”
Check back tomorrow to see Who's in the Fish Bowl.
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