When asked whether Tannehill would have an issue if Miami drafted a QB, perhaps his successor, at No. 11, Gase said, "Ryan would never shy away from anybody coming in at that position. Ryan is going to be our starting quarterback. And I don't see that changing anytime soon. And I think that when we get back out there in spring and get going, I just know it's going to be really good to have him back."
Tannehill missed all of the 2017 season while rehabbing his knee injury suffered deep into the 2016 season. That campaign, his first under Gase, was arguably his best as a pro (8-5, 67.1 comp. pct., 93.5 rating). Gase said Wednesday that Tannehill's rehab is going swimmingly, and that his return to the field is not in question.
"As far as what the trainers and doctors have told me, everything has progressed extremely well," Gase said. "He's always going to be ahead of where he's supposed to be. He's a physical freak and we'll just kind of play this one as the weeks go on, throughout the offseason."
NFL draft tsar Mike Mayock suggested during his pre-combine conference call that Miami is at a "crossroads" with its starting QB, now entering his seventh season.
"I think the Dolphins are kind of at an important landmark in their franchise. I think it's Year 3 of that regime," Mayock said. "They've got a QB that's coming off an ACL, that's around 30 years old, that has not lived up to his first-round expectation. I think you're at a point where you've had one good year and then one bad year with this group. What's next?"
What's next? Free agency, and the draft. Some reports suggest the 'Fins are high on Okalahoma QB Baker Mayfield; others, UCLA QB Josh Rosen. Miami could still find a suitable backup in free agency and forgo drafting the QB of the future altogether.
But as of now, all things point to Tannehill lining up under center come Week 1.