NOTEBOOK: New Beginning For Tannehill: Other Notes

Posted Sep 4, 2013

Second-year QB prepares to open on the road one more time.

Ryan Tannehill’s NFL career began on the road last year at the Houston Texans when he became the first rookie quarterback in franchise history to start a season opener. Houston broke open a close game near the end of the first half to send Miami home with a 30-10 loss, but it was the first step in his development.

This Sunday the eighth overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft opens his second season away from home again – this time at the Cleveland Browns, and Tannehill isn’t shy about admitting he is experiencing some of the same feelings.

“I was excited as I had just gotten named the starter, had a couple of weeks to prepare and we were looking forward to a big game in Houston,” said Tannehill, who set franchise records for a rookie quarterback in passing yards, completions and attempts. “This year I’m focused on Cleveland and it’s the same feeling, the same excitement and we’re ready to get going.”

Tannehill pointed more to the broad experience of playing an entire NFL season as what helped him prepare for this opener rather than the Texans game specifically. But he is also well aware of the environment that awaits him in Cleveland.

“I hear it’s going to be a fun but difficult place to play,” Tannehill said. “The fans will be excited, it should be a packed house opening day and we’re going to have to play well. It’s going to be tough to communicate, it’s going to be loud but that’s the challenge of playing an NFL game on the road. When you play in an exciting atmosphere like that, that’s where you want to play. You don’t want to play in front of a quiet crowd. You want to go in, play in a tough situation and hopefully prevail.”

Considering three of Miami’s first five games are on the road, Tannehill will certainly make every effort to reverse the outcome of last year’s season opener.


One of Tannehill’s favorite wide receivers from his rookie season was Davone Bess, who was traded to the Cleveland Browns in the offseason. Bess knew by then he’d be facing the team he signed with as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2008 in the first game.

Now that he’s starting for the Browns and being seen as a veteran mentor to a young receiving corps, Bess is trying to downplay the emotional angle that was expected to be brought up this week.

“It’s going to be different, obviously me knowing them and them knowing me,” Bess said. “It would be easy to get rattled and let the emotions get the best of you, but my approach is just like every week. We want to compete to win the ballgame. I’ve got a lot of respect for all of the guys on that side and I’m pretty sure it’s the same way vice versa, but we know what it is come Sundays and once we play in between the lines it’s time to work.”

Dolphins cornerback Dimitri Patterson feels the same way, having started four of the first seven games for Cleveland last season before being waived on December 17th. The next day he was picked up by Miami and started that Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, making four tackles in his debut. The following Sunday in the season finale at New England he added one tackle.

But unlike Bess, who spent his whole career with the Dolphins before being traded, the Browns were Patterson’s fifth different stop. He spent his rookie season with the Washington Redskins, where he appeared in three games, spent all of 2006 on the practice squad of the Minnesota Vikings and then spent two seasons in Kansas City with the Chiefs (2007-08), two with the Philadelphia Eagles (2009-10) and part of two in Cleveland, which is why it’s easier for him to downplay it.

“Maybe it would mean something to me if that was somewhere I was with for a long time or had a long history with or whatever the case might be,” Patterson said. “But at this point I’m approaching this game like I’m going to approach every game this season, with the same mental approach and preparation that I would any other time. This game is no bigger than the next game. All of these games are big and just because I have a history with this team, I’m not going to play any harder or play any more aggressive or smarter this game than I would any other game.”


Long snapper John Denney has become an old pro at becoming a new father during his NFL career. So when his wife, Christie, gave birth to their fifth child on Tuesday, a baby girl named Bailey, it was no big deal for him to jump right back into work the next day.

“Our last one was born December 13th, so it was in the middle of the season as well,” Denney recalled. “We had it on a Tuesday, which worked out as our day off and this one was on a Tuesday, which would have been a good day but the schedule changed. We still made it work.”

Now the Denneys have three sons – Austin, Brock and Wes – and two daughters – Gracie and Bailey. Even though nothing replaces the thrill of witnessing the birth of that first child, Denney does not see any drop-off in the excitement aspect.

“It’s even more fun because you’ve got more people to share it with,” he said. “All of the kids are aware of what’s going on and they’re excited because it’s kind of like Christmas. They’re counting down the days and they knew the exact hour that mom was supposed to go in and have the delivery so they were all excited. They knew as soon as school was over I’d come pick them up and they’d be able to go to the hospital and meet their little sister for the first time. To see the excitement in their eyes was fun.”


It was a nice mix of hip-hop and reggae during this morning’s stretching routine as “We Got This B---,” by B.o.B featuring T.I. and Juicy started things off. That was followed by “Roller Skates,” by Steel Pulse.


“I’m excited and I’m going to sleep early so I hope he goes to sleep early because it’s going to be a long day.” – wide receiver Mike Wallace on his much anticipated battle with Browns cornerback Joe Haden, which dates back to their college days when Wallace was at Ole Miss and Haden was at Florida
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