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Dolphins rookie Tannehill making steady progress

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Dolphins rookie Tannehill making steady progress

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) In the Miami Dolphins' opening game, rookie Ryan Tannehill became their 17th starting quarterback since 2000, which put the team on pace to go through 141 QBs this century.

One month later, it appears the Dolphins may have finally found a quarterback keeper.

``Ryan just gets better and better,'' offensive coordinator Mike Sherman said. ``Very seldom does he make the same mistake twice. You tell him that you need to do something, and he does it. He has taken steps every single week.''

Tannehill's statistics weren't flashy in the most recent game, aside from one: He had a passer rating of 92.3, his best yet. The rookie threw for 223 yards with no turnovers and helped Miami (2-3) win at Cincinnati, 17-13.

After more than a decade of steady turnover at quarterback, the Dolphins would happily take that sort of play every week.

The performance bumped Tannehill's rating for the season to 70.4, which ranks a distant 30th in the NFL. He'll go into Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams (3-2) with only two touchdown passes and six interceptions.

On the other hand, he's the first NFL rookie to pass for more than 1,250 yards and win at least twice in his team's first five games. He has thrown for more yards in his first five games than any Miami rookie, including Dan Marino.

And his bosses are delighted with his progress.

``Our quarterback position has seen the most dramatic improvement on the offensive side of the ball,'' Sherman said. ``Ryan's decision-making has definitely improved over the last couple of weeks. Each game we come out less and less critical of his decisions.''

Sherman also coached Tannehill at Texas A&M and judged the youngster a promising NFL prospect, which is one reason the Dolphins used their first-round pick on a quarterback for the first time since taking Marino in 1983.

Rams coach Jeff Fisher said it appears Miami made a wise choice.

``He's got tremendous poise, he throws with accuracy, he's not making mistakes, and he's doing a great job in that offense,'' Fisher said. ``He and coach Sherman obviously are on the same page, and I think there's a great future.''

The Dolphins are hardly an offensive juggernaut - they've scored two touchdowns in each of the past three games. But with a rookie quarterback and a new regime led by first-time head coach Joe Philbin, this season is all about improvement.

And Tannehill has showed plenty. He took his lumps in a Week 1 drubbing at Houston, when he became the first Miami rookie quarterback to start an opener and threw three interceptions.

Even then, Tannehill's teammates saw lots of potential.

``He has never really seemed a rookie,'' guard Richie Incognito said. ``He has never had that deer-in-the-headlights look.''

``When I was a rookie, my head was swimming,'' running back Reggie Bush said. ``So I can imagine what his head is going through as a rookie quarterback. But he has showed a lot of maturity at such a young age.''

Tannehill's 431-yard passing performance in Week 4 at Arizona was an eye-opener, and the balance between good plays and bad tilt more in his favor with each game.

``Obviously you don't want to make a mistake in the first place,'' he said Wednesday. ``But if you make a mistake, you have to learn from it. If you're consistently making the same mistakes over and over, you're not growing as a player. You're backpedaling. I have to hold myself to high standard and expect myself not to make the same mistake twice.''

One area of improvement has been Tannehill's reaction to a crumbling pocket. He has made several completions after stepping forward rather than bailing on the play, and he has also hurt defenses by rolling out and finding open receivers.

``He throws the ball very well on the move, whether it is a pre-designed movement pass or a step-up, shuffle-in-the-pocket-and-escape throw,'' Philbin said.

The Bengals faced a rookie or second-year quarterback in each of their last four games. Tannehill was the only one to beat them.

``I was impressed with him,'' Cincinnati defensive tackle Domata Peko said. ``He doesn't look like a rookie to me. He's got great arm strength, can make all of the throws and I was real impressed with his composure. They've finally found a quarterback there in Miami, it seems.''

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AP freelancer Kevin Goheen in Cincinnati contributed to this report.

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Former MVP Adrian Peterson signing with Redskins amid mounting RB injuries

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Former MVP Adrian Peterson signing with Redskins amid mounting RB injuries


The Redskins agreed to terms with free agent running back Adrian Peterson, per multiple reports and confirmed by NBC Sports Washington.

Washington added Peterson as their running back group took a number of hits this preseason. Rookie Derrius Guice was lost for the year in the preseason opener, while Byron Marshall, Martez Carter and Samaje Perine got hurt in the second preseason game against the Jets.

Peterson is a huge name. He’s likely headed for the Hall of Fame when his career ends, and he’s one of only a handful of rushers to gain more than 2,000 yards in a season.

His best seasons came with the Vikings, but Peterson hasn’t delivered top flight results since 2015.

If he’s healthy and ready to go, Peterson could be a tremendous steal for the Redskins. There is no way to know until he suits up in the preseason, which could happen as soon as this Friday night against Denver.

On the roster, Washington has Rob Kelley, Kapri Bibbs and Chris Thompson available at running back. At his best, Peterson is significantly better than that group.

Will the Redskins get Peterson at his best?

That’s the big question. And with two preseason games remaining, he will get the chance to prove it.

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Maryland football announces plans to honor the late Jordan McNair during 2018 season

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Maryland football announces plans to honor the late Jordan McNair during 2018 season

University of Maryland football players shared their plans to honor their late teammate Jordan McNair this upcoming season Monday morning in College Park. 

This is the first media availability for players granted by the university since the 19-year-old's tragic June death following an offseason workout that left McNair hospitalized due to heatstroke. 

Sophomore center Johnny Jordan and junior offensive lineman Ellis McKennie each outlined how the team will remember McNair, beginning with a moment of silence during the team’s opener Sept. 1 against Texas at FedEx Field.

Additionally, each player will rock helmet stickers with McNair's No. 79 uniform number which the team plans to retire in 2020. The offensive linemen room will also be renamed in honor of McNair. 

On Friday the university's Board of Regents announced it is taking over the in-depth look at investigations surrounding the football program. Head coach DJ Durkin is currently on paid administrative leave and strength and conditioning coach Rick Court resigned August 14. 

As speculation continues to grow, Maryland is expected to have a decision made within the next two weeks. 

 

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