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."
AP freelancer Kevin Goheen in Cincinnati contributed to this report.
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