Much has been made of Tua Tagovailoa’s arm strength, and whether or not the Miami Dolphins’ starting quarterback has the ability to stretch the field with long throws.
Even though Tagovailoa engaged in a half-dozen or so deep passes last season, his critics continue to question whether his perceived arm limitations would limit Tyrek Hill’s effectiveness.
Tagovailoa and Hill did their best to assuage those concerns by joining two long passes during the 11-on-11 periods of Thursday’s mandatory minicamp exercise.
On the first deep ball, which Hill scored and later punts to celebrate, the six-time Pro Bowl receiver slipped Noah Igbinogen’s coverage and fell behind the Dolphins’ safari and Tagovailoa strided him. I killed.
On the second deep ball, which came at the end of the 11-on-11 session, Hill pushed the entire Dolphins defense back about 7 yards and waited for Tagovailoa’s beautiful pass, which flew 51 yards into the air.
While it is possible that Hill could have scored on the throw, the Dolphins ruled that he was stopped inside the 5-yard line.
“I don’t know about you, but it looked like money,” Tagovailoa said, praising the second deep ball throw after practice.
Hill made two plays later on a quick inside pass, concluding Tagovailoa’s day.
While Tagovailoa and Hill impressed, the entire offense was not able to score a victory lap as Miami’s defense dominated the day.
Defensive tackle Christian Wilkins was a force to be reckoned with, constantly interrupting running lanes, and harassing the Miami quarterback.
If tackles were allowed, Wilkins would have ended the day with two sacks and three or four tackles for a loss on run play. There was a play where Wilkins was so fast in Miami’s backfield that Salvone Ahmed barely got a hand-off before Wilkins hit him in the chest.
Wilkins flexes at the end of that play like he’s flexing all OTAs, serving as the most impressive defender of the four practices seen by the media.
Another top performer was inside linebacker Duke Riley, shutting down the running lanes of offense during his package-based work, which was highlighted on Thursday.
During the first 11-on-11 period, Riley made three tackles during his share of snaps.
Cornerback Nick Needham broke a Tagovailoa pass to Jaylen Waddle in third place. A blitz of dolphins was coming from the opposite direction and Needham was on an island with little help.
The best defensive game of the day came when Quincy Wilson lofted a Skyler Thompson pass that was brought down by Trill Williams for an interception. , ,
Teddy Bridgewater had his third straight rough day during open practice for the media. He had several potential interceptions dropped, and his offensive line allowed a ton of pressure. Cameron Goode, the Dolphins’ seventh-round pick, got for a sack to Bridgewater during an 11-on-11 period. , , ,
Rookie cornerback Elijah Hamilton pulled a flag with an early hit on a receiver, but coach Mike McDaniel removed the penalty, saying it was a legal deflection of the pass. , , ,
One thing that was worth noting was the tight end Hunter Long doing a better job as an in-line blocker, potentially serving as a backup for Durham Smyth. Reserve tight end Sethan Carter also had an active day on Wednesday.