Tua Tagovailoa owns a skill that every NFL quarterback should have, but Jaylen Waddle says his Miami Dolphins teammate is so good at it that it makes him unique.
Waddle was asked what makes Tagovailoa so special, and the wide receiver responded by saying it’s where he puts the football.
“His ball placement,” Waddle said. “I think everybody sees it, knowing exactly where to put the ball where his receivers can not just catch it, but catch it and run with it. So that’s what makes Tua Tua.”
Very big things are expected from Tagovailoa and the Dolphins this season after the team’s first playoff appearance since the 2016 NFL season. The 25-year-old was unable to play in Miami’s playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills last season due to injury, but he showed vast improvement in helping the squad get there in his third NFL campaign.
Tagovailoa used his exceptional ball placement to complete 64.8 percent of his passes for 3,548 yards and 25 touchdowns while making a career-high 13 starts. Waddle caught 75 passes for a career-high 1,356 yards last season, with backups Teddy Bridgewater and Skylar Thompson also throwing him the ball.
Miami’s offense is expected to only get better in its second season under head coach Mike McDaniel, and with Tagovailoa practicing jiu-jitsu in an effort to remain healthy throughout the 17-game schedule, things are looking up.
The Dolphins could improve even further if their reported pursuit of Dalvin Cook is successful. Though the running back reportedly is generating “significant interest” around the league, the Dolphins are seemingly still in the mix to land him.
One concern that has arisen for the Dolphins this offseason is a reported NFL investigation of Tyreek Hill in connection to a possible assault. He and Waddle form arguably the top receiving duo in the league, and any absence due to a possible suspension could cause a setback for Tagovailoa’s progress and the offense in general.
But otherwise, things continue to look promising for the University of Alabama product. Though he may lack the arm strength of some other NFL star quarterbacks (which has caused many to be skeptical of his ceiling), the uncanny accuracy Waddle speaks of and likes so much is enough to boost the confidence of Dolphins players and fans alike.