Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel says quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is "opening up" his arm and his teammates are definitely noticing it in practice. Tagovailoa, the fifth overall pick of the 2020 NFL draft, is facing skepticism regarding his arm strength.
The Dolphins signed speedy wide receiver Tyreek Hill this offseason but some think Hill won't be putting up huge numbers with Tagovailoa as his quarterback. "I think his teammates have really noticed a difference in him; he's opening up," McDaniel said, per ESPN.
"He's kind of coming in his own in that regard. And he's been unbelievably coachable. He's let his guard down. And we've been able to keep his confidence high, which it should be right now for sure, while correcting him and getting this game better, which is the ultimate goal for everyone."
Tagovailoa says he can sling it down the field
Tagovailoa has definitely heard all the skepticism regarding his arm strength.
After the 2021 season, the Dolphins fired Brian Flores and hired McDaniel. Addressing all the talk regarding his arm strength, Tagovailoa suggested the playcalling was the reason why he wasn't throwing deep balls last season.
"I have seen some improvements on being able to push the ball down the field once again," Tagovailoa said. "I honestly think it's just practice. I wasn't really able to push the ball down the field last year because we didn't have plays specifically to push the ball down the field.
A lot of plays that were called last year were meant for one person. Either this person is open or the play might be dead. It's a little different now. My second year was different than my rookie year and this year will be different than last year with how we go about doing things. I definitely feel a lot more confident being able to push the ball down the field. It's going to be exciting."