Sherman Connection a Help

Four years ago Mike Sherman called Ryan Tannehill into his office and asked the promising dual-threat quarterback to move to receiver after the freshman lost a battle for the Aggies' starting quarterback job.

Tannehill agreed to do it, but warned Sherman he was making a huge mistake.

"I told him I was the best quarterback he had on the roster," said Tannehill, who lost the camp battle to Jerrod Johnson, whom he backed up for two and a half seasons while starting at receiver.

"He'll always remember that moment," said Tannehill, who threw for 3,744 yards and 29 touchdowns in the 13 games he started last season. "He says it is one of the funniest moments, and the best moments he had with me."

Not only was Tannehill right, but considering the Miami Dolphins selected Tannehill with the No. 8 pick in the 2012 draft the irony of his reunion with Sherman is overflowing.

Sherman is presently the offensive coordinator for the Dolphins, and now Tannehill's the young, promising rookie trying to unseat Matt Moore and David Garrard to become Miami's starting quarterback. The difference this time is he has a head start on these NFL veterans because Tannehill already knows Sherman's West Coast offense, and its language.

"I didn't take him at the eighth pick in the draft to be a backup quarterback," general manager Jeff Ireland said when asked about Tannehill's ceiling. "I'm going to let the coaches decide when he's ready to compete. He's going to be competing with the three quarterbacks we have. He's obviously got a head start."

Last season Tannehill completed 327 of 531 passes. He posted six 300-yard plus passing games, including his second career 400-yard game. He also gained 306 yards and scored four rushing touchdowns on his 58 carries.

But Tannehill threw 15 interceptions last season and 21 in his 19 college starts. He also lost a number of fourth-quarter games. But the Aggies' struggles had more to do with Texas A&M's poor defense, and inconsistent receivers than Tannehill's ability.

"I leaned on him a lot. Why wouldn't I?" Ireland said about Sherman's influence on the selection. "I had Mike in my office a couple of times to ask Mike about the competitor (Tannehill) is."

Ireland said Tannehill was a factor in the team's offseason plans at quarterback, which featured the Dolphins making a strong push for Peyton Manning, and a lukewarm effort to sign Matt Flynn, who ended up in Seattle.

No matter which quarterback was added, owner Steve Ross said the goal was to add a young quarterback to be developed for the long haul.

"All along (Ireland) felt Tannehill was someone he really saw talent in," said Ross, who hopes that Tannehill is able to sit and learn like Aaron Rodgers did in Green Bay playing for Joe Philbin. "Just because he feels that way it doesn't mean he's going to do it right away."

With the quarterback position addressed, the Dolphins will likely use the team's three picks — No. 42, 72 and 73 — in the second day to address the receiver, offensive line and pressure player needs.

It's also possible the Dolphins could package those picks to move up in the second round. However, with a rebuilding roster, Miami would likely try to keep all of their available resources.

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