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Some Thoughts on Tua and 'Underthrowgate'

There's been much ado about a Miami Dolphins video showing Tua Tagovailoa throwing a deep pass to Tyreek Hill

It was last summer when Tua Tagovailoa completed a long pass to Albert Wilson during training camp, the clip went viral and many fans made went nuts over the simple practice throw.

And we said at the time that way too much was being made of it.

Well, here we are again.

We've got another video clip of a Tua pass that's generating a mountain of attention, only this time not necessarily in a good way.

No, this clip shows Tyreek Hill having to reach back to catch an apparently underthrown deep pass from Tua during a Phase Two workout at the Baptist Health Training Complex. And the video appears to show the ball wobbling a bit before it gets to Hill.

And, again, way too much is being made of it.

As of 7:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, some 22 hours after it was posted, the clip had gotten 4.7 million views and generated almost 2,300 replies, some of which used the term "underthrowgate."

And while there was some back and forth involved, the comments generally were not favorable, many suggesting this provided proof of Tua having less-than-ideal arm strength.

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Just like we said last August, it was one play during a basically meaningless practice and it didn't prove Tua lacks arm strength any more than his long completion to Wilson last summer prove that he indeed does have arm strength.

First off, can we please start with this idea that one clip proves anything?

Let's also be clear that Tua absolutely can throw a deep pass accurately. We have evidence of that on film during his NFL career with a perfectly thrown deep pass intended for Jakeem Grant against Cincinnati in 2020 that Grant dropped.

There also are instances on tape of Tua being off target on a deep pass.

Spoiler alert: Every quarterback in the NFL can complete a deep pass and every quarterback can miss one.

The determining factor is consistency, and whether Tua — or any other quarterback — can be accurate on deep throws on a repeated basis.

If somebody wants to criticize Tua's deep-passing ability, one practice throw in May shouldn't be used as evidence — just like one long practice completion isn't evidence he's a great deep thrower.

And what Tua did at Alabama also shouldn't be used as evidence he can be a great deep passer in the NFL because his receivers just aren't going to be as open as they were in college and his offensive line isn't going to give him to protect him the way he was protected at Alabama, where his team routinely was far more talented than the opponent.

No, we don't need to make too much of the latest viral Tua clip. Like everything else with the Dolphins quarterback and his NFL future, the question has yet to be answered.