Ryan Tannehill clicked early and often with rookie wide receiver Jarvis Landry during a scrimmage Thursday on the last day of the Miami Dolphins’ minicamp.
And after the scrimmage he found out that his rookie right tackle had a new contract.
The Dolphins signed Ja’Wuan James, their first-round choice (19th overall) in the draft.
James, who was a four-year starter at Tennessee, is expected to upgrade an offensive line that allowed a league-high 58 sacks in 2013.
James, at 6-foot-6, 311 pounds, has the size to protect Tannehill in the pocket.
With the signing of James, that leaves offensive lineman and third-round pick Billy Turner as the only remaining member of Miami’s draft class unsigned.
Tannehill completed 18 of 27 passes for 191 yards and a touchdown with a lost fumble.
Landry was Tannehill’s favorite option, catching five passes for 67 yards and leaving a strong impression on head coach Joe Philbin and his teammates.
”He’s displayed good instinct and good natural football playing ability,” Philbin said. ”He has good play speed and he’s pretty decisive when he’s out there. At this stage of his career it’s not surprising that he may not be doing everything quite by the book exactly how you’d like it to be done, but what he does he does fast.
”So if you’re decisive at least the quarterback’s not going to get tricked and he catches the ball so he’s quarterback friendly in that regard, too.”
But it was the defense that won the day again, sacking Tannehill three times and totaling eight sacks on the day.
Defensive end Olivier Vernon accounted for 2 1/2 sacks of Tannehill, beating left tackle Branden Albert two of the three times.
Vernon is coming off a career-best 11 1/2 sacks last season and along with Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake and last year’s third overall draft choice Dion Jordan, is part of an intimidating foursome.
Vernon looked just as quick off the ball as he did in 2013 and felt confident after the scrimmage.
”We treated it like a game and everybody was really excited,” said Vernon, who was a third-round draft choice in 2012. ”It was fun and everybody had fun flying to the ball, seeing all the young guys communicating. It was a good day.”
Landry stayed focused on what he can do to help the team rather than how he’s doing individually.
Landry, whom veteran wide receiver Brandon Gibson calls his ”son”, plans to keep on soaking in the information from his teammates and coaches.
”Gibson’s been really inspirational and motivational for me, him and also Mike Wallace and (Brian) Hartline,” Landry said. ”They’ve done a great job of taking me under their wing, embracing me and showing me the ropes as a rookie but treating me like I’m a 10-year player.”
The team was split up by colors, with the white team quarterbacked by Matt Moore and Pat Devlin coming out on top 16-13.
Moore completed a 6-yard touchdown pass to rookie Damian Williams and Devlin scored on a 4-yard quarterback keeper.
Tannehill’s touchdown pass went for 17 yards to Armon Binns and kicker Caleb Sturgis had field goals of 32 and 54 yards.
The team is off until the start of training camp at the end of July.