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Dolphins' hiring of Gase brings hope for Tannehill

This much we know: Dolphins football czar Mike Tannenbaum is tied deeply to Ryan Tannehill after signing the quarterback last May to a six-year, $95 million contract.

That fate-filled relationship sits at the heart of Miami's decision on Saturday to hire Adam Gase.

After watching Tannehill shift from one tutor to the next in South Beach -- from Mike Sherman to Bill Lazor to Zac Taylor -- the talented but inconsistent signal-caller now has a teacher revered around the league as one of the NFL's premier quarterback whisperers.

After watching the offense implode in 2015, the Dolphins went out of their way to gather Gase and Tannehill during the coach's first interview in Miami, with NFL Media's Jeff Darlington reporting that the two "hit it off," only strengthening what team brass already felt about Gase.

That cheery first impression now serves as the start of a committed working relationship between a young passer tied to $45 million in guarantees and a coach in Gase who was flexible enough to work with both Peyton Manning and Jay Cutler.

"I think it's going to start with me," Gase said of helping Tannehill during Saturday's introductory press conference. "I think he needs a guy that's going to have his back. That he feels comfortable with right out of the gate. And I'm going to be working directly with him and I'm going to hire guys on the offensive staff to also help him develop. I feel like when we do put a staff together, we're all going to help him get better."

Gase's time with Manning was laced with anecdotes of the two late-night texting and dual-obsessing over the smallest details. The creative play-caller showed equal command and versatility in milking a career-high passer rating out of Cutler, a quarterback most had written off before last season.

It's unfair to expect Denver-level fireworks from this Miami attack. The talent isn't there -- not yet -- and the book is still out on Tannehill, who threw just 24 touchdowns in a season that saw young passers Blake Bortles (35), Derek Carr (32) and Kirk Cousins (29) all make strides.

Of course, Tannehill was asked to operate under comprehensive chaos, with firings left and right, and a midseason scheme change during a campaign that should have seen him settling into familiar territory.

The transitions, changes and in-fighting are over now. The Dolphins have their man, one they believe will turn their young arm into a franchise gem. We'll find out soon enough if Gase is up to the task.

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