Dolphins’ Gase offers passionate defense of Tannehill

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase offered a passionate defense of Ryan Tannehill on Thursday, saying his beleaguered quarterback has showed improvement that continued into the start of this season.

Tannehill will miss his fourth consecutive game Sunday against the New York Jets because of an injury to his throwing shoulder. Replacement Brock Osweiler has gone 1-2 as the starter but has played well, providing fresh fodder for Tannehill’s many critics.

Gase dismissed those detractors in the media and elsewhere who argue it’s time for Miami (4-4) to find another quarterback.

“What qualifications are we talking about with the people saying that? None,” Gase said. “So I don’t really care what anybody else thinks.”

Tannehill, 30, became Miami’s starter as a rookie in 2012 and still hasn’t won a playoff game. He is 40-42 as a starter, but 10-3 since midseason of 2016. He missed all of last year because of a knee injury.

“You have an athletic guy that can move around as much as he can, and then his arm strength has been something that I’ve never been around before,” Gase said.

“He has some rare qualities that you can’t find in a lot of guys physically. The more that he keeps playing, he keeps learning game to game. Where’s our ceiling at? I don’t think we’re close to it. I think we just keep getting better, and keep finding ways to maximize his skillset.”

Gase said that in his first season as Miami’s coach in 2016, Tannehill made progress, and then played even better in the first three games this year.

“I’ve watched the film,” Gase said. “I sit there. We evaluate the scheme we’re asking him to do, and he does a good job on it.”

Tannehill is expected to play again this season, but it might not be until after the Dolphins’ bye the weekend of Nov. 18.