Dolphins coach Adam Gase spoke to members of the media at the NFL Annual Meeting at the Ritz Carlton Grand Lakes on Tuesday and addressed the status of quarterback Ryan Tannehill who is returning from ACL surgery on his left knee.
While Miami has signed quarterback Brock Osweiler as a contingency plan for Tannehill, and flirted with quarterbacks in the 2018 NFL draft class, Gase made it clear that he fully expects Tannehill to participate in Miami’s offseason program.
“He’s ready to go,” Gase said. I know I’m going to get a lot of dirty looks if I say, “Are you ready to go?’”
Typical recovery time from ACL reconstruction typically takes 12 months, but Gase confirmed that the seven-year veteran will be ready to at onset of organized team activities, despite being just eight months removed from surgery.
“He’ll be ready to go [during] OTAs,” Gase said. He’ll be doing things from the beginning of the offseason.”
Tannehill initially hurt his left knee during the Dolphins 2016 Week 14 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. Tannehill instead elected to have stem cell treatment on the knee. Tannehill hurt the knee again during training camp in August of last year while scrambling, falling awkwardly to the ground with no contact.
The Dolphins let go of one of the best centers in the NFL in Mike Pouncey. The Dolphins have since acquired veteran center Ryan Kilgore and guard Josh Sitton to fortify their offensive line.
Tannehill who has the ability to make plays with his legs is predominately a pocket passer, but as a result of his reluctance to leave the pocket, he’s taken a lot of sacks. Tannehill has been sacked 213 times in his career. By comparison, former Dolphins great Dan Marino was sacked just 270 times in his 242 games as a pro.
“I don’t think he’s ever put himself in harms way,” Gase said of Tannehill. “It feels like forever ago, but he got hurt in the pocket. We have to do a better job of protecting him.”
Miami is going all in on Tannehill for 2018, but that hasn’t stopped them from checking out the 2018 quarterback class. One player Gase and the Dolphins front office seems to be smitten with is quarterback Baker Mayfield out of Oklahoma.
NFL coaches love quarterbacks that speak their language, and it appears that Mayfield and Gase are cut from the same cloth.
“We’re close in personality probably,” Gase said. “I like the way he plays. … I think Baker’s personality is something that’s infectious to other guys.
“There’s a competitiveness that you love to see. You can tell that he doesn’t want to lose at anything that he’s doing. I don’t know what else he could possibly be doing, but whatever it is, he wants to win that.”
Miami is picking No. 11 in the 2018 NFL draft and would likely have to trade up to land Mayfield. If quarterback is a must-have position early in the draft for Miami, they might need to turn their attention to the likes of Lamar Jackson and Mason Rudolph.