Dec 29, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) heads back to the sideline during a game against the New York Jets at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Dolphins' Ryan Tannehill, center Shelley Smith having trouble with exchanges

Mike Pouncey’s injury absence was always going to be an enormous blow for the Miami Dolphins, but after Friday’s practice, it seems the Fins might be in bigger trouble than originally thought.

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill and replacement center Shelley Smith had some issues throughout the day’s sessions, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

Coach Joe Philbin said “we had the ball on the ground way too much” and that stemmed from at least three poor center-to-quarterback exchanges, two involving Smith and Tannehill.

Smith, who expected to be the starting right guard, instead has been shifted to center in the absence of Mike Pouncey, who is expected to miss potentially seven games after hip surgery.

It’s hard to blame Smith too much for the errors, as it will take him time to learn a position he’s played so little at.

Smith took snaps at center during the offseason program, but his center experience during games is limited to a few snaps at Colorado State and in high school.

Smith said he wasn’t informed of the position switch until Thursday but wasn’t surprised.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “Guys are ready to step up and fill in until [Pouncey] is back or if he’s not back, fill in the whole year.”

Still, Miami would really benefit from Smith picking things up sooner than later to help the team avoid repeating last year’s horrible line play.
Tannehill threw for 3,913 yards and 24 touchdowns this past season.

Tags: Miami Dolphins NFL Ryan Tannehill Shelley Smith

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