Ever since the Miami Dolphins pulled the string on a trade for speedster Tyreek Hill, questions about quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s arm strength or lack thereof has dominated the headlines. Thus far in his short NFL career the former Alabama star and 2020 No. 5 overall pick hasn’t shown that he can push the football downfield consistently.
With a receiver like Tyreek Hill, who’s coming from a system where he was getting the ball deep with regularity from arguably the game’s best signal caller in Patrick Mahomes, if Tua can’t do that it could cause a rift.
Reek has never been one to hold back his emotions or displeasure with a situation.
During a recent appearance on ESPN’s “Get Up,” former NFL player Ryan Clark talked about how Tua needs to improve:
“I don’t think that we look at him being the fifth overall pick and say to ourselves, ‘We don’t believe he can throw a deep ball.”
“What we haven’t seen is him throw the football consistently down the football field under pressure at a successful rate … allow a team to be explosive offensively. So no one’s doubting Tua’s arm strength.”
The very opinionated “RC25,” wasn’t done.
“We’re not treating him like Mac Jones,” RC25 continued. “What we’re saying is we want to see it consistently on the field, especially with some of the explosive athletes that they have. You don’t have to be Josh Allen. You don’t have to be Patrick Mahomes. You don’t have to be Aaron Rodgers. But you do have to find a way to push the football ball downfield.”
The Hill acquisition wasn’t the only move Dolphins GM Chris Grier pulled off in the offseason. He was a busy man.
Dolphins Upgrade Offensive Talent
After relieving head coach Brian Flores, the Fins hired rising offensive mind Mike McDaniel, who honed his coaching acumen under Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan.
McDaniel will have new running backs. McDaniel is familiar with Raheem Mostert from their time together in San Francisco. Change of pace back Chase Edmonds comes over from Arizona. Grier also added wideout Cedrick Wilson Jr. from the Cowboys, who filled in admirably as Dallas’ third receiver when Michael Gallup was lost to a torn ACL.
Returning is star wideout Jaylen Waddle who put up some great numbers (104 catches, 1,015 yards and 6 touchdowns) in his rookie campaign. Dual threat back Miles Gaskin provides another weapon.
Earlier this week, we tackled media day 2022.
Here's a look behind the scenes! 👀 pic.twitter.com/fsVAramdp7
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) June 3, 2022
McDaniel will do all he can to put Tua in position to be successful. But if the former Alabama star fails to produce, journeyman Teddy Bridgewater is waiting in the wings to take the reigns.
Tua’s Numbers Are Solid: He’s Had Moments
Tagovailoa has a 13-8 record as a starter while passing for over 4,400 yards, 27 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in two seasons. Tagovailoa has completed 66 percent of his passes, and has shown flashes of what made him the No. 5 overall pick two seasons ago.
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) June 2, 2022
But going forward that won’t be good enough, with all the pieces in place to challenge the Bills for AFC East supremacy and one of the coveted seven postseason spots.
With a defense that can be stifling at times and appears ready to elevate even further, it’s imperative that Tua turns the corner and gets the offense clicking and pushing the pigskin downfield with more frequency. That’s what Ryan Clark wants to see.