Dolphins quarterbacks coach sets the record straight on Tagovailoa’s arm

David Santiago/
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New Dolphins quarterbacks coach Darrell Bevell wanted to make one thing very clear during a visit with reporters on Friday:

Tua Tagovailoa can make every throw necessary in this offense.

“There’s not really any throw that he can’t make,” Bevell said.

The timing of that comment likely wasn’t a coincidence.

It came at the end of a week when Tagovailoa was criticized by NFL Network analyst Steve Smith about the arm strength displayed in a deep pass posted on the team’s social media account.

In that clip, Tyreek Hill stopped to catch a deep throw from Tagovailoa, but the pass was displayed in slow motion and there was no context to it.

Hill subsequently defended Tagovailoa on social media, posting clips of some impressive throws by the Dolphins quarterback.

“I’m very pleased with what I’ve seen,” Bevell said. “We’ll be able to do whatever we want to do. I’ve seen nothing but really good things. So I’m excited about what I saw.”

What’s the most important trait for quarterbacks in this offense?

“A sense of timing and accuracy would be the first two things that I would say,” Bevell said. “And Tua’s got really a great feel for both of those. That’s where I’d say it starts.”

Asked what he has learned about Tagovailoa so far, Bevell said:

“I’ve learned a lot. Really like the person, the personality. The more time we spend together, just really like him as a guy. His preparation, how important it is to him, those kind of things.

“And then what I see on the field is a guy that really is a tireless worker… The sky is the limit for what we’re building, what we’re going to be able to do.”

Bevell called Teddy Bridgewater a “very capable backup. He and Tua have a great relationship already. They communicate well.”

Bevell said of rookie seventh-rounder Skylar Thompson: “I liked the way that he played the position [at Kansas State]. He played it with a good base. He’s an older guy. He’s played it for a while, as well. He’s got a lot of experience.

“Then, [Friday], I really liked his command. I liked the way he was able to enter the huddle, communicate with the guys because the plays get very wordy. And then he was able to make some plays with his arm.”


Sam Madison, the Dolphins’ cornerbacks coach and pass game specialist, said Friday that third-year cornerback Noah Igbinoghene “has some talent. He has some speed.

“Now we’ve just got to get him up to speed, and hopefully be able to get him in some games and hopefully those things can come out. He’s in a very good place. He’s happy. When you have guys like that, it makes your job a lot easier.”

The former first-round pick played only 78 defensive snaps last season after playing 287 as a rookie.

The Dolphins are using seventh-round pick Cameron Goode in an edge role, at outside linebacker, similar to what he played at California.

He said falling to the seventh round didn’t upset him because “the Dolphins only had four picks. When I visited here, it seemed like they had good interest in me. I know I wanted to be here. I was looking at their picks. I was waiting for the seventh [round], and I was real excited when they called.”

The Dolphins are auditioning 20 players on a tryout basis this weekend, beyond the four draft picks and 14 undrafted rookies who were signed to contracts.

Those 20 include former Ohio State wide receiver K.J. Hill, who has 10 career NFL catches for 103 yards, and former Giants cornerback Sam Beal, a 2018 third-round supplemental draft selection who has appeared in nine NFL games.

Seventh-round picks Goode and Thompson signed contracts before the start of the rookie minicamp.

The team’s other two draft picks — third-rounder Channing Tindall and fourth-rounder Erik Ezukanma — didn’t agree to a contract Friday morning but signed waivers allowing them to participate in rookie minicamp.

As expected, the Dolphins moved former Miami Hurricanes defensive end Deandre Johnson to outside linebacker. He’s trying to make the team as an undrafted free agent.

Three other players from South Florida universities attended rookie minicamp: FIU punter Tommy Heatherly (who was signed to a contract) and two tryout players: FIU rookie wide receiver Bryce Singleton and former FAU running back Kerrith Whyte, who has been on eight different NFL practice squads during the past three years.

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