Brian Flores: I think Tua Tagovailoa is taking more shots downfield

Miami Dolphins Training Camp
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One of the several criticisms Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa faced in his rookie year was that he didn’t take enough downfield shots.

Tagovailoa finished the season 30th among 35 qualified passers at 6.3 yards per attempt. He was just behind Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger and just ahead of Washington’s Alex Smith.

So as Tagovailoa enters his second season, reporters who have watched practice have reported noticing the QB uncorking more shots than he did as a rookie. Head coach Brian Flores was asked about it in his Wednesday press conference.

“I think it’s something he’s placed an emphasis on,” Flores said. “We’ve placed an emphasis on not pushing the ball downfield, but taking advantage of those opportunities if they’re there. But like always, we want to have good fundamentals, good techniques, good mechanics, go through his progression. And if it’s there and it’s open, or we can throw him open, then take a shot. We’re not going to make them if we don’t throw them. So I think he’s taking more shots downfield and hopefully, he’s gaining more confidence and can make some of those throws.

“But at the same time, not every throw is going to be a 50 yarder, or 60 yarder. So we’ve got to make good decisions. Check it down when we need to check it down, throw the intermediate route when we need to throw the intermediate route, you’ve got to throw it away and take the incompletion when you need to do that. And you just need reps. So we’re just trying to give him as many reps as possible — that’s the same with all the quarterbacks, Jacoby [Brissett], Reid [Sinnett], really all players at all positions. But specific to Tua and the downfield throws, that’s my take on it.”

Part of why Flores benched Tagovailoa for now-Washington quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in multiple games last season was because Miami needed to push the ball downfield in more situations. Fitzpatrick averaged 7.8 yards per attempt in the same offense last season.

Tagovailoa has weapons like Jaylen Waddle and Will Fuller on the outside who can be those kinds of targets. Time will tell whether Tagovailoa can execute and hit those big plays once the regular season arrives.

15 responses to “Brian Flores: I think Tua Tagovailoa is taking more shots downfield

  1. He “thinks” Tua’s taking more shots downfield? Doesn’t he have someone tracking his throws?

  2. Cracks me up with all the Tua haters on here.
    You will all be eating your words this season. This kid is special

  3. nhpats2011 says:
    August 4, 2021 at 12:03 pm
    Marcus Mariota 1.05


    Horrible comp. but I’m sure your praying it’s the case, it won’t be.

    Your team doesn’t haven’t the talent to slow down Miami.

  4. Tua won’t need those deep throws to win,but he will throw them better than he did last year! Tua’s strength is his accuracy,it’s such a strength that he was ranked number two in the league last year on tight throws being completed,behind only Aaron Rodgers. Tua has the one ability Tannehill didn’t. The ability to continuously put the ball in front of his receiver so they can continue the route. And now he has several receivers that can get open early on routes. His ability to do that will gain a lot of yards after the catch, and force teams to play up to stop them,then he’ll put it over the top. The only thing that will stop Tua this year is if the line doesn’t develop the run game.

  5. With the weapons Tua has he just needs to be good. I think he is going to take a step beyond good and shock a lot of people this year.

  6. I seem to recall that people were saying about Bob Griese he can’t throw the deep ball. Well, his main targets were Howard Twilley, Karl Noonan, and Jack Clancy. Neither of these were speed burners. Then enter Paul Warfield things changed. Tua was without Devante Parker and Preston Williams his two main deep threats for the latter part of the year.

  7. Give the dude some time sheesh. Everyone is busy anointing Burrow and Herbert as the next generational stars and all Tua gets is hate. Is it Alabama? Jealousy? The media? Has anyone actually watched him play? Or just listened to the negative? He’s well healed from a catastrophic injury, he’s able to have a training camp, and his front office just surrounded him with talent. I’d say give it time. You could say that Herbert could be Vince Young 2.0, great first year and then.. or possibly that Burrow could be the biggest draft bust. Former #1 overall, severe knee injury and never regains his form. These are all what ifs folks, just like Tua. Everyone needs to pump the brakes a bit.

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