Ryan Tannehill looks forward to more 'freedom' in Dolphins' offense

BOCA RATON, Fla. – One of the major topics coming out of the Miami Dolphins 2015 season was the limited audible ability for starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Former offensive coordinator Bill Lazor said it wasn’t an issue. But as the season went on and losses piled it, there was more chatter about the subject.

Tannehill went into depth about the topic for the first time at the NFL owners meetings on Monday after he participated in the league’s “Play 60” community event. New Dolphins coach Adam Gase said he will give Tannehill the freedom he wants at the line of scrimmage. According to Gase, that is very important for a quarterback to succeed in NFL.

Tannehill said he spoke to future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning this offseason about playing in Gase's offense and has heard great things.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” Tannehill said. “It’s been some adverse situations [last season], and to be able to have a head coach and coordinator that wants to attack teams that way, to give me that freedom and versatility at the line of scrimmage, is really exciting for me. It’s something I’m really looking forward to and I really can’t wait to get started.”

The Dolphins finished No. 25 in total offense and scored just 19.4 points per game. Too often the team had plays for zero or negative yards that stalled drives.

Tannehill also took a step back last season. He threw for 4,208 yards, 24 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and had an 88.7 passer rating. The team won just six games, the fewest of Tannehill’s career.

Gase has several things planned to get Tannehill and the offense heading in the right direction, with more flexibility at the line of scrimmage being one of them.

“I think it’s really important,” said Dolphins Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey, who also participated at the event. “I think Ryan has earned that over his career. I think he’s passed the point where he deserves to be able to do that. When a quarterback is able to do that, it gets us in good plays at all times. It’s going to be valuable for our offense moving forward, and it’s going to help him out a lot.”

The Dolphins also have made changes on offense this offseason. Starting running back Lamar Miller and receivers Rishard Matthews and Greg Jennings left for free agency or were released. The running back position, in particular, remains a big question mark.

“It's tough, but that's the business that we're in,” Tannehill said. “You're constantly going to have good players come in and good players go. Unfortunately, we saw a few of our good players go.”