You know, the problems that arise when teams produce promotional videos designed to hype the Miami Dolphins fan base in hopes of creating some buzz for the upcoming season, leading to infighting and ridicule from rival AFC teams.
That’s where the Miami Dolphins got into trouble Tuesday when their social media accounts posted a video of Tua Tagovailoa throwing an undefended deep pass to Tyrek Hill from the back of the end zone.
For unknown reasons, the video has been slowed down, and one can only speculate and create conspiracy theories. But the punchline that Bills and Jets fans relished was that Hill, a six-time professional bowler known for being one of the NFL’s biggest big-game producers, had to stop and turn around to catch a 40-or-so-a-yard deep. The ball, apparently thrown by his new quarterback.
Here’s a highlight of offseason practice!
“Is this the best a dolphin can show?” @Nebraskaman9694 said of the video, which had 4.1 million views as of Wednesday night. “In an actual game, that could be a bad thing.”
“Bill owns the East,” Gscool89 wrote in response to the video.
Video reopens old wounds. That hints that Tagovailoa’s arm strength — his pitching speed — remains an issue, even as he worked to improve it during offseason workouts.
Never mind that the former Alabama standout Miami was selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, which led to a 13-8 starter record for the Dolphins in two seasons, and his The offensive line was terrible, his running performance was inconsistent, the team’s receiver was sidelined by injuries, and his relationship with the former head coach was detrimental.
It’s all been with Tagovailoa for the past two seasons, and it’s the start of his career, but is it the absence of a cannon that everyone can’t get past?
The video re-emphasizes that Tagovailoa’s career will likely depend on his ability to increase his pitching speed and let go a little from 15 yards.
When asked about it, his passing coordinator/quarterbacks coach didn’t shy away from the arm strength issue, noting that he needed to see the pitch in person, which didn’t help.
“I think it was important to me to be able to see the ball come out of his hands,” passing game coordinator Darren Bewell said in February.
Beville was not present when the media spoke to the position coach on Wednesday, so he was unable to provide his own assessment after watching several practices. But according to offensive coordinator Frank Smith’s observations during the second phase of the Dolphins’ offseason program, there were no complaints about Tagovaloya’s arm.
“I wouldn’t say we’re limiting ourselves with anything,” Smith said when asked about Tagovailoa’s arm strength and whether it would weaken the offensive game plan.
“He’s actually done really well,” Smith said. “Everything we’ve done so far has been very optimistic.”
But if not, will Smith admit it?
Smith has repeatedly publicly praised Tagovaloya for his anticipation and accuracy, precisely the qualities that make him one of the University of Alabama football’s elite.
Those traits have carried over to the NFL, but there are concerns that Tagovailoa’s arm won’t allow him to throw a full line tree and could prevent him from connecting to Hill and Miami’s other weapons on deep passes.
“This time of year, we’re looking at the entire route tree, all the different concepts,” Smith said. “one thing [that’s impressive] It’s his ability to handle on the pitch and get the football where we need it.From the basics, skill sets [standpoint] marvelous. “
Let me be transparent with Tagovailoa, I spent two years lobbying for him, formerly a driver in the Tua train’s Tank, after he suffered a season-ending hip injury in his final season with the Crimson Tide.
After seeing his first practice with the Dolphins, I don’t think he has the arm I expected. I said to myself maybe things will get better as the week goes on. But it doesn’t.
Then I thought maybe it would improve as the season went on. But it doesn’t.
Now I’m hoping things may improve as he continues to heal from the hip injury he suffered in 2019.
That’s hope, but if not, it’s not the end of the world.
Chad Pennington and Ryan Fitzpatrick don’t have the best weapons, I’ll put them all on my Mount Rushmore because the best Dolphins I’ve covered during my 15-year tenure with this team Team quarterback.
It’s not a high bar, but it proves that arm strength isn’t the only quarterback trait that equates to winning.
However, Tagovailoa’s speed issues could be the deciding factor in whether he’s a placeholder or the team’s quarterback. Questions are only time, and answers will begin to emerge.