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Top News: Tannehill's Progress, Assistant Coaches & Kenyan Drake's Workload

Posted Feb 28, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS -Head Coach Adam Gase took advantage of his time at the podium at the Indiana Convention Center on Wednesday to reiterate that Ryan Tannehill will be the Dolphins' starting quarterback next season.

Amid media speculation that the Dolphins might draft a quarterback with the 11th overall selection in the 2018 NFL draft, Gase responded to a question about whether Tannehill would have an issue with that scenario in a most emphatic manner.

"Ryan would never shy away from anybody coming in at that position," Gase said. "Ryan is going to be our starting quarterback. And I don't see that changing anytime soon. And I think that when we get back out there in spring and get going, I just know it's going to be really good to have him back."

Tannehill, of course, has not played since December 2016 when he sustained a knee injury against the Arizona Cardinals. Before his injury, Tannehill had enjoyed a productive season in his first year working with Gase.

Tannehill spent the entire 2017 season on injured reserve after sustaining a torn ACL during a training camp practice last August, but he's ahead of schedule in his recovery.

"As far as what the trainers and doctors have told me, everything has progressed extremely well," Gase said. "He's always going to be ahead of where he's supposed to be. He's a physical freak and we'll just kind of play this one as the weeks go on, throughout the offseason. Really for me, I won't personally know until we get into those stages to where we can be out at practice, throwing. All I can do is hear things are going good, he's moving around well, he's able to do what he needs to do to play quarterback."

Gase said that not only himself, but the entire team is excited about having Tannehill back at quarterback.

"The guys that I talk to at the end of the year, everybody appreciated what he brought to the table in years past," Gase said. "Sometimes you lose perspective of what somebody does for your team and what he did for us in 2016 when we lost him and going through an entire season without having him. I think the appreciation for him, not only for the coaching staff but other players is very high."

Lining up Landry: Gase made pretty clear Wednesday that he would like to have wide receiver Jarvis Landry back on his roster next season. The Dolphins placed the franchise tag on the Pro Bowl wide receiver Feb. 20, the first day teams were permitted to do it. Landry will be guaranteed approximately $16 million for the 2018 season if he signs the tag. "We weren't sure when the best timing was for us," Gase said. "We just decided to do it on that first day. We felt like that was the best thing for us to really, for him to know that that's there." When asked specifically whether he wanted Landry with the Dolphins next season, Gase answered: "Yeah, if it works out the way that we've kind of looked at things. Really. that's why we franchised him."

Harris in the hunt: Defensive end Charles Harris, the Dolphins' first-round pick last spring, will get the chance to battle for a starting position next season. Harris, the 22nd overall selection in the 2017 draft, started two games as a rookie, seeing most of his action as a backup behind veterans Cameron Wake and Andre Branch. "I'll be excited to see him really have a bigger role this year," Gase said. "We kind of tried to use him in those passing situations (but we want to make) him more of an every-down player. … The more football he plays, the better he's going to get. I thought he had a pretty good year this year. He did a lot of good things and we're excited about what he showed us."

Durable Drake: Running back Kenyan Drake handled a bigger work load at the end of last season than he had since high school, but he never showed any adverse effects from the increased activity. Furthermore, Gase doesn't have any concerns about Drake's durability moving forward. "He's one of those guys that hasn't had a lot of wear and tear throughout his career," Gase said. "We're really not ever looking to be one guy with 20 to 25 carries. We kind of want to spread it out. We like using multiple backs. We started doing some things with other guys. Kenyan has done a better job of taking care of his body, getting himself ready for games. A couple of those games where he had 20 plus carries, he's walking in and acting like he didn't play a game the night before. So I think youth plays a part in that a little bit. He's put together well."

Familiar face: The hiring Dowell Loggains as offensive coordinator reunited Gase with a former Chicago Bears colleague, and the previous relationship made it an easy decision. "Dowell knows how I think and we're able to communicate very easily," Gase said. "There is just something about our connection that it works well, me and him. I think Dowell can really jump ahead. He seems to have a good knack for knowing what I'm thinking before saying anything. So that's always something that is a good thing to have when you're a head coach and you have a lot of things you have to accomplish."

Studesville scouting report: New run game coordinator/running backs coach Eric Studesville joined the Dolphins after spending eight seasons with the Denver Broncos and working under four different head coaches. The last one of those was Vance Joseph, and the former Dolphins defensive coordinator had some positive things to say about Studesville. "He's a great leader," Joseph said. "He's a great football coach. He's obviously won the big game (Super Bowl). That's important. When you bring guys into your fold who's won at a high level, that's always good for your players and coaches. And he's a god man. He's an excellent pick-up for Adam."

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