ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith has faced major backlash for his recent First Take comments about Tua Tagovailoa.

The latest to criticize Smith? Tyreek Hill — the player that Smith intimated was the true MVP of the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday.

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Miami Dolphins’ Tyreek Hill Defends Tua Tagovailoa

“I’m sick and tired of people bashing my quarterback for no reason,” Hill said on his It Needed To Be Said podcast. “I’m sick of it. I’m standing on the table and saying right now, I’m sick of people bashing my quarterback.

“He’s been doing a helluva job this year, and people need to stop giving him crap. A lot of people don’t understand what my dog went through just to get here, man. What he went through last year, especially. And where he is now, being talked about as MVP, that’s next level. I don’t know too many quarterbacks in this league to do that.”

Hill’s comments came in response to Smith’s caustic remarks Tuesday.

“I don’t know if y’all watching Miami enough,” Smith said Tuesday on First Take. “All of these passes ain’t for 19, 20, 30, 40 yards. You just got Tua dipping it two yards to him, and he’s the one taking it to the house.”

Smith’s remarks represent the thoughts of a substantial subset of NFL media members, who argue that Tagovailoa’s success is largely a function of coaching and the talent around him.

MORE: Mike McDaniel Defends Tua Tagovailoa

Those thoughts are refuted by the data — Tua is first in bad throw rate (8.4%), third in completion percentage over expectation (7.2), fifth in on-target rate (81.1%), and sixth in completed air yards (6.4).

And now they’re refuted by Tyreek Hill.

“I’m not going to call him a clown,” Hill said. “I’m not going to call him any kind of name. All I’m going to say is, Stephen A. Smith — to me, I don’t really know what to say. But if we would really just watch the game and watch how we play, none of our routes are really two yards.

“Quarterback is the hardest position in the league. You feel me? And for a guy to be even considered for MVP, that’s next level. For Stephen A. Smith to go out of his way to say that Tua isn’t worthy of being the MVP, it’s crazy to me. If you look at all the quarterbacks, except for Lamar Jackson, all the MVPs, they had guys.

“They had receivers to throw the ball to. We know the names. I’m not going to sit up here and name them. Just because a guy’s got talent around him and he’s succeeding, it doesn’t mean that he’s not worthy of being a candidate for MVP.”

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Adam Beasley is Pro Football Network’s Director of Original Content and Brand Development. You can read all of Adam’s work here and follow him on Twitter: @AdamHBeasley.

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