- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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DAVIE, Fla. -- Here is the tricky part about training camp: The practices are informative, but you don't want to overrate them.
That thought process certainly comes into play this week with Miami Dolphins starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill. He has six interceptions – yes, six – in the past two practices heading into Friday's preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons.
Tannehill threw three interceptions for the second consecutive practice on Tuesday. He had a trio of turnovers to Miami starting cornerback Cortland Finnegan and Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes. Tannehill nearly threw a fourth interception in team drills, but Grimes dropped the pass. Grimes later did pushups on the sideline after the missed opportunity.
Add in the fact that Tannehill also threw three interceptions on Monday and, at the very least, it raises some eyebrows.
"Obviously, offensively, we don't want to have those in a ballgame," Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said of the interceptions. “But you can't get too high or too low in the middle of a practice because it can taint your image. ... There were too many interceptions, however, I thought they responded well later in the practice and worked through it."
Tannehill said one of his interceptions Tuesday to Finnegan was a "brain fart" and the other was inside the bubble early in practice when the offense wasn't warmed up.
The Dolphins wrapped up their installation phase on offense and defense Tuesday. But according to Tannehill, the team is still experimenting and it led to several of his six turnovers Monday and Tuesday.
"It's a combination of a bunch of stuff," Tannehill said. "Some throws we're trying to just make in practice to see if it’s something we want to move on with during the season. We have other answers on the play. But the coaching staff wants to take a look at some throws on different coverages to see if we can complete them.
"I think we've come to the conclusion that we're going to move onto another route.”
Tannehill is learning a new offense for the first time since college under first-year offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. It is a demanding, uptempo scheme where much is expected from the quarterback. Growing pains are expected for Tannehill, especially in training camp.
But the truth is this is a big Year 3 for the Dolphins' starting quarterback when everything will be monitored closely. Tannehill's past two practices were certainly worth noting, and many will be curious to see how he responds Friday in his first live action of the preseason.
A strong preseason debut is the easiest way to erase a poor week of practice from Tannehill.
5hEric D. Williams