NASHVILLE – Ryan Tannehill is preparing to face his former team on Sunday.
But the Titans quarterback, who began his career with the Dolphins, isn't treating it like a revenge game, or with any hard feelings for that matter.
"I am thankful for my time in Miami," Tannehill, a first-round selection (8th overall) by the Dolphins in the 2012 NFL Draft, said on Wednesday. Tannehill played for the Dolphins through 2018 before being traded to Tennessee. "That was a special time of my life. I grew a lot there as a person and as a player. I became a father. I grew as a husband. I grew on the field as well. Thankful for my time there. As far as people, there are not a whole lot of players left that were there (when I was there). There are handful of guys that are still on the team, but there has been a lot of turnover there.
"(I'm) thankful for my time there and have no ill feelings towards Miami."
Over seven seasons in Miami, Tannehill started 88 games, threw for 20,434 yards and 123 touchdowns, and he rushed for 1,210 yards and six scores.
When he left Miami, Tannehill ranked second in franchise history behind Chad Pennington in both career completion percentage (62.8) and career passer rating (87.0). From 2012 to 2015, his passing yardage total – 15,460 yards – was the third highest mark in NFL history for a player's initial four seasons, behind on Peyton Manning and Dan Marino.
Tannehill's two 4,000-yard passing seasons (2014 and 2015) were the only ones recorded by a Dolphins quarterback other than Marino (6 times). In 2016, Tannehill helped the Dolphins reach the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
"It is tough to pick just one or two things," Tannehill of what he learned in Miami. "You learn so many things through leadership, through being a husband, being a father, facing adversity, handling success, navigating the NFL in general as a player. All those things were crucial in my growth and where I am at today.
"You try to learn from every experience in life whether it is a good experience, a bad experience, you try and take something from every experience whether that is in football or in life in general. I grew a lot in my time in Miami. I think I have used those both good and bad experiences to help me grow to where I am at today. Like I mentioned, on the field, off the field, it was a huge growth in my life. I basically spent most of my 20s in Miami. Thankful for that growth. Thankful for my time there and excited to keep pressing forward."
Tannehill was traded by the Dolphins to the Titans in 2019.
Titans coach Mike Vrabel made it clear on Wednesday the team is happy to have him.
"We want Ryan to be our quarterback for a long time," Vrabel said. "I know he is focused on this week, that is where my focus is and that is where our football team's focus has to be. How are going to be able to execute the keys and take care of the football?"
Tannehill has recorded eight 300-yard passing games since joining the Titans.
He needs just 173 passing yards on Sunday to become the only quarterback other than Warren Moon (1989-91) to record multiple seasons with at least 3,500 passing yards with the franchise. Tannehill has 3,237 passing yards with 15 touchdowns in 2021.
On Sunday, he'll operate against a Miami defense that's ranked 7th vs the run, and 24th vs the pass.
The Dolphins, on a seven-game winning streak, have forced 24 turnovers.
The Titans have a chance to clinch the AFC South with a win.
"(My time in Miami) was a long time ago, ages ago," Tannehill said. "We have done some good things here and excited to hopefully build on that as we finish out the season.
"(We're) focusing on ourselves and what we have in front of us, it is a huge game for us. Obviously, they are coming in hot. They have been playing really good football on both sides of the ball. It is going to be a good challenge for us. We have a big opportunity here this week for us and excited for that opportunity here at home."