It's a really small sample size, but new Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Frank Smith likes everything he's seen so far from quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
A group of Dolphins assistant coaches conducted media sessions Wednesday afternoon, and Smith had nothing but praise about Tagovailoa's work so far in the offseason program.
“One, getting to know him as a person has been awesome," Smith said. "Just his sense of humor, how competitive he is, just the make-up, what he's been able to get through to get to this point you're like, wow, what a strong foundation as a person because that's drastically important. And then, two, just his ability like at minicamp, and what he was able to do play in, play out, his communication skills, his command of the offense, his ability to really accomplish forward looking to play at the position so it's been all great so far. We’re really encouraged.
"And then you just see his ability to process and his accuracy it's been really just impressive just from this short period of what he's able to take from one day to the next then to the next week. ... I mean, from a fundamental standpoint of playing the position from a leadership and communication standpoint, also associated with playing quarterback, everything has been extremely optimistic.”
Tua and the Physical Aspect of the Game
Smith began working with Tua and the other Dolphins players when the team's offseason program began April 4. They're now in the final week of Phase Two before Phase Three and OTAs start next week.
Smith said the coaches have gained a lot of confidence when it comes to being able to throw more at Tagovailoa early on.
Just as importantly, everything has been positive as well from a physical standpoint.
"Oh, physically he’s been fine," Smith said. "I mean, one unique thing with him is his ability to play with fundamentals and accuracy with the ball. This time of year we’re working the whole route tree, all different concepts and all the things necessary for the wide receivers and for him and the running backs. So the one thing is is his ability to on-the-field process and deliver the football where we need it to go."
Smith also was asked the ever-popular question when it comes to Tua, the one regarding his arm strength and whether it's good enough to not have the playbook be limited.
"I wouldn't say that we're limiting ourselves in anything," Smith said. "He's actually been doing a great job of ... every day presents different routes, different things we're trying to accomplish with receivers. So I would say that everything we've done so far has been extremely optimistic because there's certain things in our progressions and reads and his ability to move from throughout his progressions. He’s been awesome for a guy just really being in the system for a month.”