AC in the AM: Gase Strongly Endorses Tannehill

Posted Mar 1, 2018

Some thoughts, observations and bottom lines as the Dolphins began an important week in Indianapolis, a week that could help define so many of their offseason plans.

o The biggest takeaway after 25 minutes of questions and answers from Coach Adam Gase on Wednesday is his unwavering commitment to quarterback Ryan Tannehill. "Ryan will be our starting quarterback and I don't see that changing anytime soon." Gase said.

Gase spoke candidly of how not having Tannehill for the 2017 season put his value to this team in a clearer perspective. "The appreciation for him is very high from both the coaches and his teammates," Gase said. "It'll be good to have him back." Bottom Line: This is no great surprise, but it was important for Gase to say. We tend to forget how impactful Tannehill was in the 2016 season and how, if he had stayed healthy, he might have built on that success last season. Gase clearly hasn't forgotten. Sometimes, I guess, you don't completely understand what you have until you don't have it.

o Even with such a strong conviction about Tannehill, Gase embraces the importance of depth at the most important position on the team. "I'd love to draft a quarterback every year," he said. "We'll just see how the board falls for us." Bottom Line: Last season will always serve as a sobering reminder for Gase that you just can't have enough quality quarterbacks.

o As expected, there were several questions about receiver Jarvis Landry and the reason the Dolphins placed their franchise tag on him. The most telling response came when Gase was asked if he wants Landry back. "That's why we franchised him," he said. Bottom Line: This is a very fluid situation. I imagine that the Dolphins and Landry's representative may meet this week in Indianapolis. Keep in mind, though, as good as Landry is - and he's special - it still has to work within the parameters of putting together a quality roster.

o As for Gase, he is still evaluating all of the events of last season as well as the schemes he has used and perhaps some he wants to use in the future. One lasting impression from a year ago was the impact made by many of the young players, especially some of the first-year players. "They were a good example of how we want to do it going forward," he said. Bottom Line: I understand free agency is important, but it is the draft, and the performances of these young players, that will always carry the greatest weight.

o One of the offseason projects, I believe, will be to find more ways to utilize little/big man Jakeem Grant. It is clear that this is a player with unique skills and we saw undeniable flashes of that last season. "We're looking to build on that," Gase said. "We now have a good idea of what's the right amount for him." Bottom Line: The arrow is pointing up. The only intrigue now is how high it can go.

o There are clearly some uncertainties surrounding the offensive line, but one thing that seems apparent is that second-year player Davis will have a prominent role on next year's team. The Dolphins just aren't sure whether it will be at guard or tackle. Davis vaulted up the depth chart last season and ended the year as the starting right guard. "We'll see how it plays out," Gase said. "We want to get as many guys as we can to compete for playing time." Bottom Line: They could certainly use a few more players like Davis.

o The bond between Gase and his new offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains was solidified in their year (2015) together with the Bears and they have now picked up right where they left off. "There is something about our connection that works well for me and him," Gase said. "He knows how I think." Bottom Line: Having a fresh set of eyes and someone that Gase admires and trusts should serve this offense well.

o Circle your calendar: On March 14, the wild ride that is known as free agency begins and, with it, the offseason takes on an entirely different look. Indeed, things should get interesting in a hurry. Bottom Line: Change is imperative, especially after a 6-10 season.

The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by our columnists and bloggers represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

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