MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Omar Kelly joined The Joe Rose Show with Zach Krantz and Ira Winderman on Friday to discuss the first week of Miami Dolphins OTA’s.
The week concluded with a Thursday practice that was fully open to the media. It was the first chance the press had to view a practice this offseason, after the Tuesday and Wednesday sessions were both closed.
To Kelly, the focus of the practice session was to put all eyes on the left knee of the Dolphins’ starting quarterback.
“Yesterday was a total exhibition to show us that Ryan Tannehill is fine,” said Kelly, who stood among the over two-dozen observers on Thursday as Tannehill went through a full menu of individual and team drills.
Tannehill suffered two sprained ligaments on December 11th of last year on a hit from Arizona defensive end Calais Campbell. He opted not to have surgery on the knee.
On Thursday he offered assurances that the injury is fully recovered through a combination of rehab and stem cell treatment.
“I’m feeling good,” said Tannehill after Thursday’s practice. “I’m feeling back to 100 percent. Everything feels totally normal and I’m excited to keep pushing to get better next year.”
Despite Tannehill’s confidence, Kelly needs more convincing.
“I’ve dealt with athletes for twenty years,” noted Kelly, “and all they do is lie about their health.”
An early portion of practice featured the quarterbacks going through footwork drills. To Kelly’s eyes, Tannehill was not as sharp as backup Matt Moore.
“I’ve watched him do that drill probably thirty or forty times,” said Kelly. “At no point (previously) would I ever have told you Matt Moore can do that drill better than Ryan Tannehill because Matt Moore isn’t the athlete he is. Well yesterday, Matt Moore was doing the drill better than Ryan Tannehill.”
Outside of that specific concern, Kelly acknowledged that overall, Tannehill looked as though “the knee injury was a thing of the past.” Tannehill now wears a brace on the left knee for stability and confidence.
Kelly’s reservation comes from the idea that you really won’t know he’s fully recovered until you see his mobility tested in more vigorous drills.
“I’ll know the week they are preparing for their 3rd preseason game,” offered Kelly. “I need to see him do a bootleg and do some plays on the run.”
Tannehill’s mobility and escapability have been key to his success. If his athleticism is compromised, Kelly worries his overall value would suffer.
“If I don’t have a Ryan Tannehill with his athleticism, I’m not going to be happy.”
Listen to the full interview above with Omar Kelly on The Joe Rose Show.