Dolphins newcomer Tyreek Hill made quite a stir this summer by calling Tua Tagovailoa the most accurate quarterback he had ever played with. The ludicrous assertion instantly went viral with many perceiving it as both a publicity stunt for his new podcast and a veiled shot at his former Chiefs teammate Patrick Mahomes, who admitted he was taken aback by Hill’s criticism.
Hill’s effusive praise of Tagovailoa throughout training camp struck many as disingenuous, defending his move to Miami (what receiver in their right mind would abandon Mahomes for Tua?) by inexplicably hyping up an undersized, injury-prone draft bust with questionable arm strength. Turns out, the joke was on us—Tagovailoa, when healthy, has looked like an MVP (league-best 115.9 quarterback rating), while Hill appears well on his way to breaking Calvin Johnson’s single-season receiving yards record. When others doubted him, Hill was always a believer, seeing Tua's potential as early as 2020.
“We played against Tua in 2020, Miami versus Chiefs, and I had a chance to watch him sling the ball. And he was completing passes to guys who are, you know, not [stars],” said Hill during his appearance Friday on WQAM’s Hochman and Crowder. “He didn’t have Jaylen Waddle at the time. I was like, this guy can sling the ball. I already had that memory in my head.”
Tagovailoa wasn’t working with much back then, slumming it with a patchwork receiving corps led by the anonymous likes of DeVante Parker, Jakeem Grant, Mack Hollins and Lynn Bowden Jr., among other mismatched pieces. Nowadays, Tua is swinging from a hammock on Easy Street, cocktail in hand, presiding over an offense that practically runs itself. That’s not to say Tagovailoa hasn’t had a hand in Miami’s success, impressing with his accuracy and late-game poise while finally living up to the promise he displayed as a Heisman finalist at Alabama.
“This dude knows how to throw the ball. It’s very catchable and it’s accurate,” said Hill. “Once I got here, I made a promise to myself to be there every day in OTAs so me and Tua could get our connection [down].”
Hill also had something to get off his chest, insisting his earlier remarks about Mahomes weren’t meant as a slight. Quite the contrary—the way Hill sees it, Mahomes’ greatness almost goes without saying.
“A lot of people took that as I was saying, 'Oh [Tua’s] better than Patrick Mahomes.' I never said that,” said Hill. “We all know Mahomes is playing a different ball game then everybody. The guy’s an alien.”
If they take care of business against Cleveland, the Dolphins will have a chance to reclaim the division lead from Buffalo, who could be without starting quarterback Josh Allen Sunday versus the 7-1 Vikings.