In a recent interview, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle had nothing but positive remarks to make about his quarterback, crediting him with the explosiveness of the team’s offense and his ability to continue to evolve.
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Jaylen Waddle on the Evolution of Tua Tagovailoa
After being selected fifth overall by the Dolphins in the 2020 NFL Draft, Tua Tagovailoa has grown as a person and a player under the franchise, etching his name as one of the most talented quarterbacks currently in the NFL.
Tagovailoa put up his best stats in the 2022 season as he threw for 3,548 yards, 25 touchdowns, and eight interceptions in 13 games. He has led the Dolphins to a 5-1 start this season, throwing for 1,876 yards, 14 touchdowns, and five interceptions.
In a historic 70-20 win over the Denver Broncos earlier this season, he completed 88.5% of his pass attempts for 309 yards and four touchdowns.
When asked about Tagovailoa’s evolution as a quarterback, Waddle said his knowledge of the offense is where he has grown significantly.
“Going back-to-back OCs and knowing the calls and what to expect from [head coach Mike McDaniel], he’s just growing his knowledge of the game, just another year in the league, getting familiar with more defensive schemes,” Waddle said.
“Going into all that and then his work, his preparation throughout the week and games has really expanded, and he’s always been a great leader, but I think he’s doing a better job of being more vocal, from the O-line to the running backs to the receivers.”
“He makes us look good”
— Up & Adams (@UpAndAdamsShow) October 20, 2023
Waddle has grabbed 24 receptions for 296 yards so far this season, averaging 12.3 yards per catch while being a key piece of the Dolphins offense. He credits the success of himself and his teammates like Tyreek Hill to Tagovailoa.
When asked if any quarterback could deal the ball the way Tagovailoa does if they had the same surrounding talent, like Waddle or Hill, Waddle said that’s “not true.”
“He makes us look good,” Waddle said. “Probably 90% of the time, he allows us to get the ball and puts it in the perfect position to make crazy plays and juke people out.”
MORE: Miami Dolphins Depth Chart
Tagovailoa’s play has been criticized lately as being a product of the Dolphins’ effective system. Some are hesitant to label him as an “elite” quarterback due to his success coming from under McDaniel and a slew of talented players alongside him, including Waddle, Hill, Raheem Mostert, and De’Von Achane.
While Tagovailoa is certainly set up to succeed, he is a key part of the Dolphins’ winning equation. With consistent improvement season after season, Waddle’s statements accurately reflect the status of the QB. Should he continue on the trajectory he is on this season, he is surely worthy of being an MVP candidate.