What 13 nationwide voices are saying concerning the Miami Dolphins, Tagovailoa and their possibilities



Dolphin Dilemma

The NFL introduced the Dolphins will forfeit two draft picks, and crew proprietor Stephen Ross is suspended by Oct. 17 on account of the league’s investigation into the crew’s violation of the integrity of the sport in its pursuit of Tom Brady and Sean Payton.

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Feedback on the Dolphins and Tua Tagovailoa from 13 nationwide analysts getting into the season:

ESPN’s Damien Woody; “If this offensive line can perform better than last year — and they were atrocious last year — then I think this offense can be very scary. Speed scares a lot of people, and they have a lot of it. This team has assembled a track team around Tua Tagovailoa. Tua has always been an accurate quarterback. Tua is ready to step up and lead this team to the postseason.”

NFL Network’s Kurt Warner: “Last year, Tua completed 80-some percent of his passes on throws 10 yards or less. Beyond that, he was only at 43 percent. The difference between great quarterbacks and everybody else is being able to make those chunk throws down the field with accuracy.

“We can throw Tyreek Hill bubble screens and jet sweeps and he’ll make a difference for us. Where Tyreek is a difference-maker is he can stretch the field. If Tua can consistently make those throws with Hill and Jaylen Waddle and Co., that’s when this team can turn the corner and push the envelope. If Tua is just going to be accurate with those RPOs and the dink-and-dunk throws, they are going to need a lot more in my opinion.

“When Hill was in Kansas City, he created an extra layer on that second level. That’s where Travis Kelce got so many big plays. Tyreek, we’re going to send you deep. You’re not catching the football, but you’re creating big plays for other guys.”

ESPN’s Robert Griffin III: “Tua hasn’t had an opportunity to truly show the NFL world who he is. Last year, he was throwing behind the 32nd-best passing blocking unit in the league. At times, it seemed like the coaching staff wasn’t sold on him, wouldn’t let him push the ball down the field. Tua is accurate.

“When you have Jaylen Waddle, you bring in Tyreek Hill and Cedrick Wilson. Mike Gesicki can stretch the field. They did a great job bringing in Terron Armstead and Connor Williams, who’s an upgrade at the center position. They put so many weapons around Tua and brought in an offensive-minded coach. Erik Ezukanma was a phenomenal wide receiver last year at Texas Tech.

“I think they will take a big leap. Tua is going to show the grit I’ve seen from him this offseason. If Tua goes 25 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, that’s a great year. The benefit Tua has is there’s no expectation for a Super Bowl this year. Can Tua take that big leap and include a playoff berth? I think he can do that.”

ESPN’s Mike Tannenbaum: “I think they’ll be the third-best team in the division because of the quarterback. [New England’s] Mac Jones is more consistent inside the pocket. From a skill set standpoint, Mac is the more consistent player.

“If I’m Miami, they still have a first-round pick in San Francisco’s. But that puts them behind Houston, Detroit, Seattle and Philly. Those teams have two first-round picks.

“If they look at the landscape this year and next year, knowing it’s going to be hard for them to get up in the draft, they might want to consider Jimmy Garoppolo as their best option because this is a playoff-caliber team besides the quarterback position. I’ve got to keep at least one eye on Garoppolo because he could be their best option not just short term but years to come..”

ESPN’s Chris Canty: “You’re talking about them being a playoff team. If Tua is a solid quarterback and is available for all 17 games, there’s no reason the Dolphins can’t find themselves in the playoffs. They have a top-notch defense, a championship-level defense that’s going to continue to ascend when you have young players like Jevon Holland and Jaelan Phillips on that side of the ball, not to mention Christian Wilkins and Co.”

Former Patriots operating again James White, now an occasional ESPN contributing analyst: “I could see them [starting] 1-3. Tua hasn’t shown enough promise. It’s put up or shut up time for Tua. You got to see something now.”

NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah: “This whole offseason we focused on Tyreek Hill. There are other members of this offense I think will fit beautifully and benefit from the speed of Tyreek Hill, namely Mike Gesicki.

“If you can run those safeties out of there, like Hill is going to be able to do and even Jaylen Waddle, you are going to have a lot of room to roam for Mike Gesicki, who is one of the more athletic tight ends in the league. So it’s that other guys outside of those speed merchants that will help make this a complete offense.”

ESPN’s Louis Riddick:” I wouldn’t change a factor about the best way Hill has approached this offseason when it comes to being supportive of Tua. Human beings respect when human beings imagine in each other.

“We all feel better about our prospects and our potential to reach the highest goal when we know there are people backing us instead of people trying to undercut us or people looking to try to replace us. Tua feels like his guys have his back. That’s going to pay dividends down the road in crucial moments. He’ll have the best season of his career by far.”

NFL Network’s Willie McGinest: “They’ve brought in so much talent to win right now. Defense is solid. They’re going to be more physical than they were last year. You look at what they did in San Francisco. Physical, run the ball, a lot of misdirection, a lot of different formations offensively, short to intermediate, get Tua going, then you can probably strike down the field. They added a fullback. That means they’re running the ball.”

ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky: “The Dolphins are going to be a really, really good football team. They’re a lot closer to the Buffalo Bills than people know. Mark my words: Tua will have over 4,000 yards and over 25 touchdowns passing this season.” But Orlovsky has them lacking the playoffs.

Former NFL defensive again Domonique Foxworth: “I have high expectations for Tua particularly in this offense with a revamped offensive line and they have a great defense. That takes pressure off the offense. Tua should have a big season with these outstanding offensive weapons and improved front five.”

Former NFL offensive coordinator and UM assistant and CFL head coach Marc Trestman, now with The thirty third Team media outlet: “Watching him over the last two weeks, I’ve seen him play confidently. While many throws were highly accurate to his left side, his arm side, I did see come off primary receivers in the pocket and quickly move to secondary and third receivers. During the preseason, I saw him throw the deep ball with anticipation and accuracy, showing a quick release and the ability to extend plays and deliver outside the pocket.”

ESPN’s Bart Scott: “The Dolphins are a sneaky pick for a deep run in the postseason.”

Here’s how the Dolphins’ 2021 draft can go from superb to 1 for the ages.

Barry Jackson has written for the Miami Herald since 1986 and has written the Florida Sports Buzz column since 2002.


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