Houston Coach High on Tannehill

Long before he became head coach of the Houston Texans, Gary Kubiak served as the backup quarterback behind John Elway with the Denver Broncos. So Kubiak probably can spot a good quarterback when he sees one. And he thinks that's just what the Dolphins have in Ryan Tannehill.

Kubiak has never coached Tannehill, but he's familiar with the Dolphins rookie first-round pick from Tannehill's college days at Texas A&M.

"First off, I think he's going to be a great player," Kubiak said Wednesday in a conference call with South Florida reporters. "I've been very impressed. I've known him. He was right down the road here and obviously the job that Sherm (offensive coordinator Mike Sherman) did with him at Texas A&M and has continued to do with him there in Miami. I think studying these guys coming out, there's no doubt in my mind you're talking about a franchise player."

Kubiak's Texans team is loaded and enters the season as one of the favorites to come out of the AFC and reach the Super Bowl next February in New Orleans.

The first step for Houston is again the Dolphins Sunday at Reliant Stadium, where Kubiak's aggressive defense will try to make it a forgettable NFL debut for Tannehill.

Regardless of what happens Sunday, though, Kubiak says Tannehill has all the ingredients to become a top-notch quarterback.

"He's smart, great ability, moves around, makes plays off schedule," Kubiak said. "That's what everybody's looking for in this league."

While Tannehill starting on opening day for the Dolphins might have come as a surprise to many, considering the Dolphins entered training camp with two veterans on the roster in Matt Moore and David Garrard, Kubiak says he's not surprised.

"I thought that he was heading in that direction coming out of college," Kubiak said, "so it was really no surprise to me."

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