Miami, Fla. -- Dolphins rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill made his second preseason start and first at Sun Life Stadium Friday night. This is the "dress rehearsal" for Miami and its quarterback, and Tannehill struggled early.
The Falcons lead at halftime, 9-3.
Tannehill was 11-of-25 for 112 yards with an interception and a fumble that was recovered. He had a passer rating of 40.8.
Tannehill made a few good throws and was the victim of drops, although that's no surprise. Miami receivers and tight ends have been dropping passes since spring practices. Tannehill also threw his first pick of the preseason to Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud.
Tannehill will play more in the second half. But here's the reality that we are learning: Tannehill is going to have growing pains. He's not going to light it up in his rookie year and doesn't have the supporting cast to make his tough job any easier. For example, starting tight end Anthony Fasano had three drops in the first half.
But each game is good experience for Tannehill. The Dolphins chose to go with a rookie quartrback this year in preparation for future seasons. As a result, Miami must take its baby steps along with Tannehill in 2012.