It may not have been the only reason that the Miami Dolphins selected quarterback Ryan Tannehill with the No. 8 overall pick in last week’s NFL Draft, but it certainly didn’t hurt that his former coach at Texas A&M, Mike Sherman, is the Dolphins’ offensive coordinator. And he’s not alone as a couple of other assistants have ties to the Aggies.
Tannehill, who played receiver and then eventually quarterback for A&M, hopes that familiarity — and that which comes with Sherman’s playbook — will help me make a smooth transition to the NFL level. He’ll need to make one with a bit of an interesting situation that includes veteran quarterback David Garrard and returning signal-caller Matt Moore.
Ryan Tannehill joined WQAM in Miami with Big Dog to discuss his initial conversations after being drafted by Miami, the quarterback situation he enters into, the playbook as it compares to that at Texas A&M, if he feels the A&M ties within the coaching staff led to him going to Miami, the history and tradition of the Dolphins, his transition over the past 24 months and learning NFL defenses.
What was the initial conversation like with Jeff Ireland and the Dolphins?:
“They told me I was going to be their pick and they were glad to have me. … I got to talk with everyone on the phone there and they told me they were excited to have me and just kind of told me a quick overview of how things were going to happen the next couple days. I guess that’s pretty much how the phone call went down. After that it was pure excitement.”
How are you treating the situation coming in as a top-10 pick when David Garrard and Matt Moore are both already there?:
“I know that there are two good quarterbacks there in Matt and David and I can’t wait to get down there and meet those guys and start learning from them. They’ve been around for a while and know the ropes and hopefully they’ll help guide me along. I think just playing in the offense here at A&M, being with Coach Sherman and basically the same system will definitely help speed up my progression as I make this transition. I know I have a lot to learn. I just want to take it one day at a time, go in and compete every day.”
How much of the playbook looked like the one you were used to at Texas A&M?:
“The majority. There’s some new plays and slight changes, whether it’s just the name of the play or slight adjustments on a couple of the routes. Definitely just a few changes, but I think that the foundation and majority of it’s the same. And I definitely think that will help me ease my transition.”
How much do you think the fact that a few of the coaches in Miami having been from Texas A&M led to you being picked?:
“I don’t know. I never really asked them how much that was in effect. But it’s not just those guys. … I think that it starts on top with the GM, the owner and the head coach and kind of trickles down. If they were saying, ‘Don’t draft this guy,’ I don’t think they would’ve drafted me. But I can’t say they were the only ones saying I was the guy.”
Your wife became a bit of a social media sensation during the draft. How did that go over?:
“It was great, just seeing all the excitement. She thought it was funny and I thought it was funny. It’s great. Any time you get some support it’s a lot of fun.”
Do you have a feel for the recent history of the quarterback position in Miami?:
“Yeah, I’ve got a little bit just going around the facility and seeing the pictures and hearing about the tradition of the organization. It’s a great organization with a rich tradition. I’m excited. I don’t feel like there’s any extra pressure because of that. I just know that I have to go in, handle my business day by day, get better every day and go out and compete. Everything else will fall into place from there.”
What do you think when you think back to being a receiver two years ago and then going in the first round as a quarterback?:
“It was crazy. It was definitely always a goal of mine. I wanted to be a first-round QB; I wanted to be a quarterback in the NFL. But being at receiver, you didn’t really know if it was going to happen or not. Just sitting back and thinking back to those days … it’s been a crazy experience but everything happens for a reason.”
Obviously you know the offensive system, but what about learning defenses?:
“Yeah, I think it’s going to take some reps. Whether it’s in the classroom, watching it on film or out on the practice field, I’m going to have to see those things a few times. I’m excited to learn from the guys that have been there. I feel they have a lot of experience that I can learn from.”