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Offense Struggles During First Day Of Dolphins Mini Camp

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Ja'Wuan James #72 of the Miami Dolphins and fellow players participate in drills at the Miami Dolphins training facility in Davie, Florida. (Source: Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Ja’Wuan James #72 of the Miami Dolphins and fellow players participate in drills at the Miami Dolphins training facility in Davie, Florida. (Source: Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

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Miami Dolphins

DAVIE (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins held their first Mini Camp practice on Tuesday at the teams practice facility in Davie.  A good amount of the attention during the offseason has been surrounding the Dolphins new offense behind first year coordinator Bill Lazor.

Much of the talk during the Dolphins organized team activities (OTAs) has been about the speed and pace of the offense.  Coming off of a season in which Miami struggled mightily on offense and showed very little creativity, there is a lot of pressure on Lazor and third year quarterback Ryan Tannehill to turn things around.

The offense showed a lot of growth during OTAs but they had a rough practice on Tuesday and Tannehill was visibly upset on the field.

“Yeah, it was a frustrating day,” said Tannehill. “I want to be crisp. I want everything to work like a well-oiled machine. Today, we weren’t crisp, so we’ve got to get it better tomorrow.

“We’ve had much better days as an offense all around, getting lined up, playing fast, throwing the ball, protecting, all around. We just didn’t have our best day today. That’s what this time is for. I’m not frustrated by the mistakes, as far as they can’t be corrected. It’s something that’s going to be corrected this afternoon and tomorrow we should look much better.”

While Tannehill wasn’t shy about saying the offensive performance wasn’t up to par on Tuesday, Dolphins coach Joe Philbin was a little more understanding.

“Yeah, I think it’s kind of just the ebb and flow of practices,” said Philbin. “As we all know, we’ve had 10 OTA practices, so this would be 11. There’s going to be days when one side of the ball has the upper hand.”

Anytime you have to learn a brand new offense there is going to be a steep learning curve, but for Tannehill the changes could seem a bit more extreme.  Between his last two years at Texas Tech and his first two years with Miami, Tannehill worked under Mike Sherman.  Sherman was the head coach at Texas Tech before being hired by the Dolphins to be their offensive coordinator the year Tannehill was drafted.

Considering that Tannehill has been working in Sherman’s system for the last four years between college and the pros, it would be no surprise to anyone if the Dolphins quarterback struggled to grasp the new offense in Miami.  That just hasn’t been the case though as despite his rough day on Tuesday, Tannehill has done a good job adapting to the new system.

“I’m still learning obviously,” explained Tannehill.  “There’s a lot to do, a lot to learn in this offense. Just getting everything down where it’s second-hand nature and not having to think about anything. Just going out and playing. Every day, I feel more and more comfortable. Even on a bad day like today, we can learn from this tape, we can see where the timing didn’t match up, where we missed the projection, missed the hot and learn from it.”

The coaching staff has seemed very pleased with the progression of the new offense under Tannehill. He has a high football IQ and has been picking things up quickly, spending plenty of time during the offseason studying the new style and working with his receivers to get everyone on the same page.

“As I said, I think his understanding, his knowledge of the system is very good,” Philbin said following Tuesday’s practice. “He’s a quick processor and I think he’s gotten out on the field and transferred from the classroom out to the practice field well. I think we’ve completed more vertical balls in this camp than we had at a year ago this time. I’m pleased with his development.”

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