Tua’s training targets: Tyreek Hill, then his detractors | News, Sports, Jobs

Miami Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa participates in drills at the team’s practice facility Thursday in Miami Gardens, Florida. Photo AP

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Tua Tagovailoa hit fast receiver Tyreek Hill with two long completions during Miami Dolphins minicamp practice on Thursday.

And afterwards, Tagovailoa fired back at the critics.

The third-year quarterback, aware that there are often questions – especially on social media – about his arm strength and deep passing ability, went on the offensive about his abilities after practice .

“Yeah if you saw the second to last play we had I don’t know if I could still get the ball down the field but from my count I think it could have been a touchdown for Tyrek,” said Tagovailoa.

“So however you want to write all of this on social media or whatever outlets you’re with, you do.”

Tagovailoa’s two assists to Hill in Thursday’s training each traveled at least 45 yards through the air. The first was good for 55 yards and a touchdown; the second went for 56 yards.

Tagovailoa has not completed 50 or more yards as a rookie in 2020 and three last season, although two – a 64-yard gain by Albert Wilson against the Baltimore Ravens and a 57-yard gain by Jaylen Waddle against the Ravens. Carolina Panthers – came on short or intermediate throws with yards after the reception.

New Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel said his quarterback’s arm was strong enough to make long passes.

“Here’s the thing about the quarterback that I always find funny,” McDaniel said. “You can only design plays that the quarterback has time to throw. … I think he could have had 55 yards today. That’s why you hear no reason to worry from the players, because they know it too. He is very fast and what is great is that he sees the pitch.

As he approaches his third season, there are questions about whether Tagovailoa will be the Dolphins’ starting quarterback for the long haul.

Some of the concerns relate to his ability to throw from the field – although it should be noted that after struggling on Wednesday Tagovailoa took possession, claiming that “The practice was not up to what I know our offense can compete with and that obviously starts with me.”

Through it all, comments or reviews or even praise, Tagovailoa says it blocks noise.

“To me, it’s just, zone that,” Tua said. “I mean, we go out to practice, everybody…Twitter warriors, you know, keyboard warriors, whatever you want to call them, you know, they’re not here to practice with us working hard. So I don’t know if you recorded that last one for Tyreek… I don’t know about you, but it felt like money.

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Clifton L. Boyd