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Shutdown Corner

Rookie Ryan Tannehill is teaching new offense to Dolphins veterans

Doug Farrar
Shutdown Corner

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Ryan Tannehill will be handing knowledge to teammates in training camp. (Getty Images)

Ryan Tannehill played quarterback for Mike Sherman's Texas A&M Aggies for a season and a half, and put up some pretty solid numbers doing so. The former receiver, who took his preferred position midway through the 2010 season when starter Jerrod Johnson was injured, completed 484 passes in 774 attempts for 5,450 yards, 42 touchdowns and 21 interceptions — and that was after leading the Aggies in receptions in 2008 and 2009.

Of course, with that limited experience, Tannehill (who was taken with the eighth overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft by the Miami Dolphins) will have to work his way up the depth chart against veterans Matt Moore and David Garrard. After striking out with Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn, the folks in Miami are hoping for any definitive solution at this point.

[Related: Ryan Tannehill's Shutdown 50 scouting report]

One thing in Tannehill's favor is his experience with the offense the Dolphins are running. Sherman is now the Dolphins' offensive coordinator, which means Tannehill has a bead on Sherman's passing concepts and West Coast offense verbiage. And as Dolphins center Mike Pouncey recently told the NFL Network, that familiarity has Tannehill teaching those very same quarterbacks and the other players on the team.

"He definitely knows it," Pouncey said of his rookie teammate. "He ran it in college. You can see it in practice. He's teaching the veteran guys some plays. All those guys are working together, so there's not any animosity in the room. Those guys are going out there and competing. He's a guy that's mature and ready to play, he knows this offense and with his arm strength he can help this team."

[Related: Chad Ochocinco reverts to given surname Johnson]

Sounds a bit goofy for a kid who has yet to take a meaningful NFL snap to be leading the playbook charge, but we've seen this before in even stranger circumstances. During the 2011 lockout, when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith needed to get with the program that new head coach Jim Harbaugh was putting together, Harbaugh asked Andrew Luck, whom Harbaugh coached at Stanford, to show him a few things. Smith got a bit of a head start, and put together the best season of a middling career.

For the Dolphins and their undefined quarterback situation, the real competition starts Thursday when training camp opens. All three players will get more than enough opportunity to prove their worth as the potential starter, and Pouncey doesn't see a favorite at this point ... or if he does, he's not revealing it.

"Matt Moore came in last year and he did a heck of a job for us — he won a bunch of football games for us," Pouncey said. "You've got a guy like David Garrard, a guy that's been in the NFL for years now, a guy who was in the Pro Bowl before he got hurt. And then we drafted a guy with the eighth overall pick, a rookie, but he's 24 years old. He knows our offense and does a great job. I can't wait to see these guys compete and go out there and see who's going to win the starting job. I feel comfortable with any one of them out there."

At least he knows that one guy already understands the offense. That's got to help.

(H/T: Pro Football Talk)

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