Fast-tracked

It's been a whirlwind start for rookie Ryan Tannehill -- and it's only July

Updated: July 11, 2012, 4:42 PM ET
By Eddie Matz | ESPN The Magazine

Ryan TannehillSteve Mitchell/US PresswireTannehill had 112 receptions at A&M before switching full time to QB.

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What are your thoughts on doing Hard Knocks?
TANNEHILL: Can't say I was expecting it, but it's exciting for us as a team. I never followed the series, though I always wanted to watch it. But I could never afford HBO at Texas A&M.

What's it like having Chad Ochocinco in the Miami locker room?
TANNEHILL: He brings a lot of athleticism to the outside for us. Off the field, he's definitely a character, always making guys laugh. This morning in the meeting room, he took one look at the script for our minicamp practice, then turned to David Garrard and said, "Hey Dave, I'm open already." I thought that was hilarious.

You played receiver your first two years at Texas A&M yet insisted on attending QB meetings every day. Why?
TANNEHILL: I tried to make the most of playing wideout, but I always had that dream of playing quarterback in the NFL. I've always written down my goals, and one of the things I put on my goal sheet was to be a top-10 draft pick as a quarterback.

Having your former college coach, Mike Sherman, as your current offensive coordinator has to help, right?
TANNEHILL: No doubt. Instead of having to sit down at night and study all new plays in a huge playbook, I already have a background in the offense. We obviously have some new things and some changes from what we ran in college, but I'd say 70 percent to 75 percent of it is the same. If I had to learn everything fresh, my head would probably be spinning.

You're a brainiac who majored in biology, was considering med school and graduated early with a 3.6 GPA. That must make it easy to digest an NFL playbook.
TANNEHILL: I wouldn't say easy. But I do really enjoy it. I take pride in knowing the offense really well, knowing the protections. I like to know where I'm vulnerable.

Being a rookie can be humbling. What was your welcome-to-the-NFL moment?
TANNEHILL: My first time in the building, our left guard, Richie Incognito, walked past in the hallway and gave me a piece of his mind -- a little taste of the veteran-to-rookie interaction. I don't want to put it out there exactly what he said, but he had a few choice words for me. He's a very entertaining guy who likes to have fun.

Your wife, Lauren, did a modeling shoot and almost shut down the Internet. How are you dealing with that?
TANNEHILL: It's flattering. I'm proud she has been getting so much attention. It happened, and there's nothing wrong with it. I'm thrilled she's my wife.

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