Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is taking exactly the big step forward in Year 2 that the team was hoping for. At least if his performances in training camp practices are to be believed.
Coach Brian Flores said Tagovailoa is off to a good start, and several Dolphins players told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald that Tagovailoa is playing at a different level than he did last year as a rookie.
“He’s always had accuracy. That was never a problem. He always had the zip, always had the power,” safety Eric Rowe said. “I just believe it’s that year-two jump that everyone needs to make from their rookie year. And obviously the type of offense. Last year, I even noticed his playbook was condensed to slants and bubbles. They really wouldn’t let him show his arm. Now seeing training camp, a lot more deep routes, they’re allowing him the opportunity to throw it deep. That’s what we need. Tua is making that jump. I see each day he’s getting better from the first day.”
Tight end Durham Smythe sees it as well.
“It just seems like confidence. That’s a big thing for year-one to year-two players,” Smythe said. “He understands the offense, yada, yada, has got a great arm. Everyone says that. Everyone knows that. But confidence year one to year two, that’s big. If he continues to develop that, the sky’s the limit.”
Reporters on the scene described Tagovailoa as excellent in the red zone on Monday, and he now has gone four straight practices without an interception. The Dolphins need that to carry over when the passes count in September.