Sometimes, even Ryan Tannehill gets vocal.
At practice on Sunday afternoon, Dolphins rookie running back Kalen Ballage missed his blocking assignment. So Tannehill, who is normally pretty quiet, kicked him out of the huddle. For what it’s worth, Ballage did seem receptive to the criticism. And according to ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe, head coach Adam Gase was on board as well.
“I would have been upset if I was him because he knows what the result in a game would have been. It would have been painful for him, for sure,” Gase said. “He was in the right, kind of making an example there. When he does things like that for our offense, it’s a good thing.”
This will be Tannehill’s seventh NFL season. However, he didn’t play last year due to a torn ACL suffered near the end of his 2016 campaign. The former eighth overall pick (2012) hasn’t been bad, but the Dolphins need more than that this season. Across his first five years, Tannehill is averaging 3,835 yards, 22 touchdowns and 14 interceptions per 16 games. Now again, that’s not bad.
In the meantime, they are coming off another rough season (6-10). They’ve seen the postseason just once since 2008.
Regarding the Ballage incident, Gase stresses the importance of picking your spots. Tannehill doesn’t do this all the time, which is good. That means that when he does step up and say something, people are going to notice. They did.
“You can’t kick a guy out of the huddle all the time. You can’t shut it down all the time and have big discussions,” Gase says. “It’s a feel, timing, when is the right time to say, ‘You know what? We’re not right here. We need somebody else in here.’ He was right today with what he did.”
Now, let’s just see if Tannehill can show that kind of leadership on the field this season.