A controlled-climate atmosphere with no pass rush, no secondary and receivers running at half speed isn't quite the same as going deep in New England in December. So we won't know for a while whether Tannehill has improved his accuracy on long passes, a glaring weakness in his first three NFL seasons.
But two weeks into training camp, Tannehill senses progress.
"Not only am I better at it, but our receivers are doing a great job of adjusting to the football and making plays on it when it's in the air," he said. "I'm excited about that and the potential that we have. It's something that's going to be a factor for us."
To support his contention, Tannehill's success rate on deep throws in practice has been higher than in past years. He caused a stir Sunday with three long completions during team drills.
A breakthrough? Nah, veteran receiver Greg Jennings said.
"You can't put so much into it," Jennings said. "I'd love to say we're going to complete deep balls this year at a high percentage. But none of this now means anything if we can't translate it into games."
While Tannehill has steadily improved overall since he became a starter as a rookie in 2012, his grade on throwing long remains incomplete. Last year he connected on 24 percent of his passes thrown more than 20 yards (10 for 41), which was even worse than his career figure of 27 percent. Aaron Rodgers, by comparison, hit 51 percent last year (20 for 39). In 2014, Tannehill threw one touchdown pass that traveled more than 20 yards in the air. Andrew Luck threw 11 and Rodgers nine. Peyton Manning, Joe Flacco, Ben Roethlisberger and Tony Romo threw eight each, the story said. A revamped group of WRs should also help Tannehill improve, which will make fantasy owners happy.