On May 10, the Miami Dolphins’ new-look offense was the talk of the sports world – for the wrong reason. The team’s social media accounts put out a short video of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa throwing a pass to newly acquired wide receiver Tyreek Hill.
On the surface, it seemed like a good idea. But upon further review Tagovailoa under-threw the speedy wideout and the internet went off on his lack of arm strength. Hill defended his new quarterback with a tweet two days later. It featured another hype video of more Tagovailoa throws that were a bit better.
A few weeks later, Hill spoke with the media and went even further in his support of Tagovailoa. He told them, “Tua probably has one of the prettiest balls that I’ve ever caught in my life.”
Fast-Forward to OTA’s
Tua Tagovailoa is determined to further silence his doubters, or at least let them know that he does not really care what they think about him.
“For me, it’s just zone that out. We come out to practice. Everyone else – Twitter warriors, keyboard warriors, whatever you want to call them – they’re not out here practicing with us,” Tagovailoa said.
New Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel – who has been a full-time NFL coach on the offensive side of the ball for the past nine seasons – is a big fan of Tagovailoa’s skill set. Tagovailoa admittedly does not have elite arm strength like Josh Allen and Justin Herbert. Still, McDaniel is confident that he can be a successful quarterback.
“He’s not throwing the ball 85 yards, but I don’t see the practical application of an 85-yard thrower,” McDaniel said. “Unless you have the best offensive line in the history of football and a defense that is too poor to add on rushers when you’re max protecting.”
Tua’s Arm on Display
According to USA Today’s Safid Deen, Tagovailoa completed 9-of-14 passes on Thursday after 7-of-16 passes on Wednesday. The Miami social media account posted another one of his passes to Hill, and this time it was placed perfectly in stride over a Dolphins defender.
Despite suffering a season-ending hip injury during his 2019 campaign at Alabama, the Dolphins selected Tagovailoa fifth overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. Over the past two years, the lefty has started 21 games for Miami and the team has a 13-8 record in those contests.
Tagovailoa has 4,467 pass yards with 27 touchdowns compared to 15 interceptions in 23 NFL games. This upcoming season, the quarterback is expected to take a big step forward with the acquisitions of McDaniel and Hill. Plus, second-year wide receiver Jaylen Waddle is due for improvements of his own.