Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill and defensive lineman Christian Wilkins both had some major praise for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa ahead of the 2023 NFL regular season.
Hill, who had a massive first season with the Dolphins in 2022, believes that the quarterback is “leveling up” every day.
Tyreek Hill on playing with Tua Tagovailoa again: “Can’t wait to see Uno back on the field. It’s gonna be fun … He’s the same guy each and every day. He’s always happy, he’s always grateful. I can tell he’s ready.
“He’s leveling up each and every day.”
— Marcel Louis-Jacques (@Marcel_LJ) September 4, 2023
Hill finished the 2022 season with 119 catches for 1,710 yards and seven touchdowns. He averaged over 100 yards per game even though the team had to play three different quarterbacks in the 2022 season.
It’s possible Hill’s numbers will increase if Tagovailoa – who missed time with multiple concussions in the 2022 season – is able to stay healthy for the entire 2023 season. There’s no doubt that the former first-round pick is the most talented quarterback on Miami’s roster.
Last season, Tagovailoa threw for 3,548 yards, 25 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 13 games. He led the NFL in yards gained per pass attempt and yards gained per pass completion. The Dolphins finished the 2022 season with a 9-8 record and made the playoffs. The team was at its best with Tagovailoa under center.
In the 13 games that Tagovailoa started, Miami was 8-5. The team went just 1-3 in the four games that he missed. Hopefully, the team won’t need to play backups Mike White or Skylar Thompson at all in place of Tagovailoa this season.
Wilkins, who has been teammates with Tagovailoa for multiple seasons, also believes in his teammate’s growth entering the 2023 regular season.
"I just see another year of growth for Tua," Christian Wilkins said.
— David Furones (@DavidFurones_) September 4, 2023
Tagovailoa started 34 games in his first three seasons in the NFL, leading Miami to a 21-13 record in those games. However, injuries limited him to 13 games in the 2021 season (12 starts) and 13 games again last season.
When the 25-year-old is on the field, Miami is a playoff-caliber team. The Dolphins have to be encouraged by the step forward Tagovailoa took in his first year with head coach Mike McDaniel.
The University of Alabama product posted career-highs in touchdown passes, passing yards, yards gained per pass attempt, QBR, passer rating and finished ninth in the league’s MVP voting. He also threw two fewer interceptions than he did in the 2021 season.
If he can continue to build on that in the 2023 season, the Dolphins should have a shot to win the AFC East division.