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Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck and Dolphins QB-Ryan Tannehill meet for 2nd straight year with one unique similarity

Intro: Over the next month, Colts quarterback Andrew Luck will oppose a pair of fellow 2012 draft picks. Dolphins signal caller Ryan Tannehill is the opposition this weekend and the two Texans are among the game’s promising quarterbacks.





INDIANAPOLIS— Of all the similarities that Andrew Luck and Ryan Tannehill share as second-year NFL quarterbacks, perhaps the most unique one resides in the offensive systems they operate.

While Luck is spending his first season running his college offense, Tannehill's offensive coordinator in Miami is Mike Sherman, the man who was Texas A&M's Head Coach from 2008-2011.

The transition to the NFL is steep enough for any rookie quarterback so playing in a familiar scheme has certainly helped ease the learning curve.

"It's a huge help, really," Tannehill said on a conference call with local media on Wednesday. "Coming in, the foundation of the offense is going to be the same. You're going to have a lot of new things, new terminology, new concepts, things like that but the foundation of the offense is going to be the same.

"That really helped me early on and has me really comfortable at this point having run these same plays for four-plus years now. I've had a lot of reps, maybe not in NFL games, but I've had a lot of reps at the plays and it helps to settle in."

The Dolphins chose Tannehill with the eighth pick in the 2012 draft and he had a very productive rookie season while playing in the shadow of many quarterbacks chosen last April.

In 2012, Tannehill threw for over 3,000 yards and led the Dolphins to a 7-9 record while starting all 16 games.

"(Tannehill) comes into the building with one goal in mind every single day and that's to improve and develop as a football player, as a leader of the football team," Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin says.

"He's a gym rat kind of guy. He's in here Monday nights studying the next team's tape and looking at the weaknesses and the strengths of the opposing defenses. We think he's made some nice improvements. He, like the rest of our football team, still has a long way to go but we think he's made strides in between year one and year two."

Last year, the Colts faced Tannehill in a Nov. 4 matchup with both teams bringing 4-3 records into Lucas Oil Stadium.

Luck would set an NFL rookie record with 433 passing yards that afternoon but Tannehill held his own with a 22-of-38, 290-yard afternoon.

Following the game the Texan signal callers shook hands at midfield knowing that their career paths will inevitably be evaluated in the years to come.

"I have a lot of respect for Ryan," Luck said earlier this week. "I've had high school teammates that played with Ryan at (Texas) A&M that talk about him. I've got to meet him a couple of times at various functions.

"I've always been impressed with him as a football player. To get to know him as a person was great, a phenomenal guy."

The Colts defensive staff will get another first-hand look at Tannehill this weekend.

While he might not possess the elusiveness of a Terrelle Pryor, Tannehill has the ability to run.

For his first two and a half seasons at Texas A&M Tannehill was a wide receiver, before becoming the team's full-time starting quarterback in 2011.

He's still playing in the same college system and now it's up to the Colts to try and slow down one of the game's promising, young quarterbacks.

"The guy is a very talented football player," Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano says of Tannehill. "He has the arm to make all the throws. He's got some skill guys around him obviously that can make plays. Given time, he can burn you."

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