Rex Ryan praises QB Ryan Tannehill

September, 19, 2012
9/19/12
2:00
PM ET
DAVIE, Fla. -- Rex Ryan's defenses have confused and battered a lot of rookie quarterbacks over the years. The New York Jets head coach will try to add Miami Dolphins first-round draft pick Ryan Tannehill to the list Sunday in a big AFC East showdown.

But Ryan had nothing but great things to say Wednesday about Miami's No. 8 overall pick. Tannehill bounced back from a poor game in Week 1 by playing well in Week 2. He threw for 200 yards and had two touchdowns (one running, one passing) in a 35-13 victory over the Oakland Raiders.

"I think this young man clearly knows the offense, he's been in that system so you can tell he's comfortable," Ryan said on a conference call. "He doesn't look like a rookie back there. A lot of rookies have that deer-in-the-headlight look and he really doesn't have that. He's very confident in what he's looking at right now."

Ryan was asked how Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez looked in his rookie year.

"He had a little deer-in-the-headlight look a few times, that's for sure," Ryan said candidly. "But we figured it out enough and he did a great job for us."

Stopping the run and confusing Tannehill are the two biggest keys for the Jets in this matchup. When Tannehill had three turnovers against Houston in Week 1, Miami lost. When Tannehill had zero turnovers against Oakland in Week 2, Miami won easily.

If the Jets can contain Reggie Bush, the reigning AFC Offensive Player of the Week, Tannehill would have to win the game through the air, and that plays in New York's favor.

"They're clearly a team that wants to run the football well and stop the run on defense," Ryan said.

This is a huge game involving a pair of .500 teams. The winner, at the very least, will be tied for first place in the AFC East. The New England Patriots (1-1) have a tough game against the Baltimore Ravens and the Buffalo Bills (1-1) travel to face the Cleveland Browns.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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