DAVIE (AP) — On his first training camp snap, Ryan Tannehill rolled to his right and fired a strike to wide receiver Roberto Wallace along the sideline.
It was the start of an impressive practice for the Miami Dolphins’ first-round pick, who missed the first two days of camp because he remained unsigned.
“I thought he’d be a little bit rusty today, but I thought he was pretty much on task on just about everything he did,” said Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, Tannehill’s college coach at Texas A&M. “He didn’t seem to miss a beat.”
Tannehill joined his teammates for the 8 a.m. practice about nine hours after he arrived at the team’s training facility to sign his contract.
Tannehill had spent the past few days, including his 24th birthday Friday, in Bradenton working out at the IMG Madden Football Academy.
“I was hoping I could get it done on my birthday,” Tannehill said. “That would have been a great birthday present. Unfortunately, it had to happen one day later. At the end of the day, this is a business and now I’ve got the business aspect out of it for the next few years and I’m ready to go out and play football.”
Tannehill’s first practice included two interceptions, but both happened on passes that went off the hands of receivers. Most of his throws were on target, including a deep sideline pass to running back Lamar Miller in a one-on-one drill.
“I didn’t think it was too bad,” Tannehill said. “I definitely have some things to work on, being better with my feet, stepping up in the pocket, a little faster on my drops. But I thought it was a good starting point.”
The first quarterback drafted in the first round by the Dolphins since Dan Marino in 1983, Tannehill is expected to vie for the starting job.
His competition is returning starter Matt Moore and veteran offseason acquisition David Garrard.
Moore and Garrard split repetitions with the first-team offense in the first three days of training camp, while Tannehill worked with the second group Sunday.
“He got more reps than anybody,” Sherman said. “Eventually we’re going to work him in with the first group, once he gets caught up to snuff, which I think will be sooner rather than later because he seems like he’s right on task right now.”
Tannehill’s familiarity with Sherman will give the rookie an edge in knowing the offense.
“I definitely don’t feel like I fell behind as far as fundamentals, throwing the ball, conditioning or physically,” Tannehill said. “You definitely want to be here. You want to see the reps, be with your teammates, get the timing down. You can’t replicate that somewhere else. You’ve got to be here for that. But as far as physically, I don’t feel like I missed anything.”
“I didn’t want to hold out. It’s just not really my style. I want to be here,” he added. “I want to compete and, so, it was a long two days just sitting around waiting. Yeah, I was competing, but there was still some down time where you’re just sitting there and tapping your foot like, ‘Let’s just get this thing done.’ At the end of the day, I feel like we worked a good deal out for both sides.”
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