Monday, June 27, 2022

Dolphins’ Tyreek Hill says Tua Tagovailoa has ‘one of the prettiest balls I’ve ever caught in my life’

Tyreek Hill certainly is entering a different stratosphere this season, starting with catching passes from Tua Tagovailoa instead of Patrick Mahomes (who he has 40 touchdown receptions from over the last four years). Tagovailoa has taken a lot of flak for his deep ball, which is speciality of Mahomes and the biggest asset to Hill’s game. 

Hill has 15 touchdown catches of 40-plus yards since the 2018 season, which leads the NFL. Tagovailoa has just one touchdown pass of 40-plus yards since he entered the league (2020), yet Hill sees many more coming in his future.  

“I mean it’s nothing weird. At first, I thought it was going to be something crazy — the ball going all over the place, but Tua actually has probably one of the prettiest balls I’ve ever caught in my life. It’s very catchable,” Hill said Tuesday regarding Tagovailoa’s deep ball (via NFL Network). “I don’t want to continue because the more I talk, the more it sounds weird. Tua is a very accurate quarterback. That’s all I’m going to say.”

Tagovailoa completed 67.8% of his passes for 2,653 yards with 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions last season — and he’s 13-8 as a starting quarterback despite having three offensive coordinators coach him in his two seasons. Tagovailoa’s deep ball criticism is a bit of a myth, as he trailed only Justin Herbert in completion percentage of passes thrown 20-plus yards downfield (Herbert was at 48.4% and Tagovailoa 48.3%). 

There’s a reason why Hill isn’t concerned over Tagovailoa getting the ball to him. 

“I just feel like football is all about confidence, and I’m very confident in my quarterback,” Hill said. “So I just feel like if I’m able to help him get all the confidence in the world and push other guys to push that confidence into him, then the sky’s the limit for the guy because he’s a heck of a talent, has crazy arm strength, arm talent. So like I said, we’re all excited just to watch him sling the ball each and every day.”

The Dolphins are one of the fastest teams in the NFL thanks to Hill joining an offense that also includes Jaylen Waddle and free agent acquisition Ced Wilson. Miami also signed Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert at running back and improved the offensive line with the free agent signings of tackle Terron Armstead and Connor Williams

Tagovailoa will have time to get the ball deep and will have the speed at the skill positions. Now, it’s on Tagovailoa to find the open receiver. 

“I’ve seen a guy that’s attacking the moment, a guy that really likes to play football,” new head coach Mike McDaniel said. “But you can tell the player has played the position for a long time and that he thinks about the game of football through the lens of the quarterback position. 

“I’ve been very excited about his development as far as the offensive plan and being the starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins.”

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