Tua Tagovailoa's two long completions to Tyreek Hill highlighted the Miami Dolphins' minicamp practice Thursday, but his comments afterward were just as noteworthy.
The first completion, based on viewing from the Baptist Health Training Complex and not official stats, went for 55 yards and a touchdown, and the second was good for 56 yards or 61 yards and a touchdown depending on whether you want to give Hill the final 5 yards because there were defenders near him.
Either way, those were two long completions from Tua, whose ability to throw the deep pass has come up more than once since he arrived in the NFL.
“Yeah, if you seen the third-to-the-last play we had, I don't know if I could throw the ball downfield still, but by my account I think that might have been a touchdown to Tyreek," Tua said. "If not, then we scored two plays after that to Tyreek. So however you want to write down any of that to social media or whatever outlets you guys are with, you do so.”
Tagovailoa's best pass of the day clearly was the first long one to Hill, which went over the head of cornerback Noah Igbinoghene down the middle of the field and caught Hill in stride.
The second one was a tad underthrown, but Hill was able to easily make the catch because he got wide open behind two defenders. As Tagovailoa mentioned, the ball was spotted on the 5-yard line after that long throw and after Igbinoghene broke up a pass intended for Preston Williams, he connected with Hill for a 5-yard touchdown on a slant.
Nice Practice Rebound by Tua
It was undeniably a much better practice for Tagovailoa than he had Wednesday when he struggled.
“Well, yesterday's practice wasn't up to the standard that I know our offense can compete at," he said. "And it obviously starts with me. In particular, there were some ball placement deals that I didn't particularly like yesterday. I think (today) was a lot better. There's still some things that weren't up to par, to our standard. But I think it was a lot better from an offensive standpoint.”
As for the deep passes, the notion that Tagovailoa doesn't have the arm strength to thrown those is silly.
The questions about arm strength don't — or at least shouldn't — have anything to do with the ability to complete a deep pass. Arm strength is about the ability to zip passes into tight windows or get some velocity when feet aren't set.
And, yes, there's the issue of completing deep passes, but that's on a consistent basis.
Regardless, Tua wasn't having it when the discussion came to the narrative about his lack of ideal arm strength.
"For me, it's just, zone that out," he said. "I mean, we come out to practice, everyone else … Twitter warriors, you know, keyboard warriors, whatever you want to call them, you know, they're not out here practicing with us working hard. So I don't know if you guys recorded that last one to Tyreek but, pssh, I don't know about you, but that looked like money.”
Tua said he hadn't seen the Hill social media showing a series of long completions, but he did say this:
"But were they on the money? Like it, take it."
As we mentioned Wednesday after Tua's rough outing, it was only a June practice, but there's also never anything wrong with long completions — no matter when they happen.