Tannehill's calm demeanor draws rave reviews

BY foxsports • September 21, 2012

DAVIE, Fla. — As many saw on "Hard Knocks," Ryan Tannehill is hardly a flamboyant guy.
He's tweeted once since July 20, and that was to simply to display a picture of a product that helps keep him cool in the Florida sun. When Tannehill was asked earlier this week what Dolphins fans say to him when he's out in public, he said, "I don't go out much. I stay home."
Maybe the Miami rookie quarterback is too busy watching game film. Whatever he's doing, it's working out OK so far.
Despite being handed a starting job fresh off the Texas A&M campus, Tannehill hardly has gotten caught up in the NFL limelight. He has an even keel about him that has drawn the praise of teammates and opponents.
"He doesn't look like a rookie back there," said New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, whose team plays at Miami on Sunday. "A lot of rookies have that deer-in-the-headlights look, and he really doesn't have that."
Tannehill's teammates saw that in the regular-season opener, a 30-10 loss Sept. 9 at Houston. After throwing three interceptions in a six-minute stretch in the second quarter, two off balls tipped at the line of scrimmage, it was time to panic, right?
Not Tannehill. He didn't appear flustered at all.
"He's pretty even keel," Dolphins guard Richie Incognito said. "You really can't tell if he had a great game or a bad day."
While last Sunday's 35-13 win over Oakland might not have been a great game, it certainly was a very good one for Tannehill, who completed 18 of 30 balls for 200 yards and a touchdown. And Incognito couldn't tell the difference in Tannehill's demeanor from the week before.
Tannehill, who led the Dolphins to 28 second-half points after having some early struggles against the Raiders, might not get excited much. But his steadiness is exciting Dolphins officials.
In fact, Miami coach Joe Philbin hasn't even minded Tannehill having some tough stretches in his first two games. It's all part of the growth process.
"I like the fact that he's had some rough patches in both games, let's be honest, and he's kind of fought his way through there," Philbin said. "Again, he's a work in progress. He's not a finished product, but I like the fact that he comes off to the sideline and can kind of tell you what happened. That's a good sign."
Through two games, Tannehill has completed 38 of 66 passes for 419 yards with one TD and three interceptions. His passer rating of 62.6 ranks him just 30th in the NFL, but a bad touchdown-to-interception ratio really can torpedo a rating.
Philbin and Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman both predicted Tannehill would make a big jump from the first to second week in his NFL career, and he did.

The best thing about last Sunday was Tannehill, who also ran for touchdown, led an offense that didn't have a turnover.
"It's a tough league, and, if you ever lose the turnover, battle, you put your team in a tough spot to win the game," Tannehill said. "We want to have minimized turnovers. Myself, I don't want to obviously turn the ball over. But, at the same time, we've got to put points on the board and we've got to be able to throw touchdowns."

Stay tuned to see if that means Tannehill, as he gets more NFL experience, will take more chances throwing downfield. He's mostly relied on the short ball in his first two games.

Then again, the Dolphins, whose best two receivers are possession guys Davone Bess and Brian Hartline, don't exactly have deep threats. And Tannehill is establishing himself as a quarterback who doesn't mind patiently dissecting foes.

"He really is poised," said Dolphins running back Reggie Bush. "That was one of the first things I saw from the first day he stepped on the field. He just had that poise about him that you usually don't get until your first couple years in the league. That's obviously a positive."

If Tannehill ever does become less of a homebody, he might find out Dolphins fans also are saying positive things about him.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at christomasson@hotmail.com or on Twitter @christomasson