Jay Fiedler endorses Ryan Tannehill

December, 27, 2013
12/27/13
10:00
AM ET
DAVIE, Fla. -- The last quarterback to win a playoff game for the Miami Dolphins was Jay Fiedler during the 2000 season. Current Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill hopes to eventually end that 13-year drought -- whether it happens this season or later.

But Fiedler spoke highly of Tannehill during his stop at Dolphins camp on Thursday. Fiedler, who was 36-23 as a starter in Miami, is arguably the Dolphins' best quarterback since Dan Marino retired in 1999.
Fiedler had nothing but good things to say about Tannehill and his long-term prospects in Miami.

“I think he's done a great job of improving himself,” Fiedler said. “Certainly he came in as a rookie with very little experience at the quarterback position, even as a college player.

“Certainly you're going to see more so many more defenses at this level than what he faced in college. It takes time to learn and to get yourself to a position where you can dictate to the defense. I think he's starting to get there.”

Fiedler was in South Florida Thursday to promote his Sports Academy at Brookwood Camp in New York. The summer camp provides instruction for multiple sports, such as football, soccer, basketball and baseball. Fiedler, due to his popularity in Miami, gets many youth athletes for his camp from Florida.

Fiedler also was known for his blue-collar toughness in Miami. He applauded Tannehill's toughness for taking a franchise-record 58 sacks this year and being on schedule to start all 16 games.

Tannehill has experienced shoulder, knee and finger injuries in 2013, but it hasn't kept him out of the starting lineup.

“It's tremendous,” Fiedler said of Tannehill's toughness. “To be hit that many times, certainly guys are bigger, faster, stronger every year. The No. 1 job as a quarterback is to play every Sunday, and he's done that for two years. It's a testament to his toughness and his ability to get through games and come to work week in and week out.”

Tannehill has a chance to lead the Dolphins to their first playoff appearance since 2008 on Sunday. Miami (8-7) must beat the rival New York Jets (7-8) and get help from at least one other team.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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