Miami Dolphins minicamp observations: Tua Tagovailoa takes his lumps

Miami Dolphins minicamp got underway Wednesday, and the defense got the best of third-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Tua Tagovailoa has drawn rave reviews from coaches and teammates alike for his performance during spring ball. He’s even been awarded the orange practice jersey that goes to the Miami Dolphins player who won the practice before.

But we’ll go out on a limb and say he’ll be in his usual red one when the Dolphins return for Day 2 of mandatory minicamp Thursday. Because Wednesday, to put it kindly, was not his best day.

Tua Tagovailoa takes his lumps at Miami Dolphins minicamp

Facing constant pressure in the non-padded session, Tagovailoa completed 7 of 12 passes for 82 yards. He didn’t throw a touchdown or an interception. Yet, he had six plays blown up by sacks. And even some of the completions he had weren’t particularly impressive.

On Wednesday, Tua was very late on a rollout sideline pass to Mike Gesicki, who would have likely had a touchdown if Tua had been on time. Later in the red zone, he threw behind Gesicki, leading to a pass breakup by Jevon Holland.

Tagovailoa had a fumbled snap/pitch exchange with a center that team rules prevent us from naming. (That same center also had a number of high snaps.)

Tua’s issues began with his first throw of the day, a low ball across the middle saved by a diving catch by Lynn Bowden. (Bowden, who is in his critical third NFL season, had two excellent catches Wednesday.)

This isn’t meant to pile on Tua, who is learning his third offense in as many NFL seasons. He’s probably still in the thinking-not-playing part of the learning curve. With the NFL season still three months off, he has plenty of time to get up to speed.

But more will be needed from him in training camp, or all of that flowery praise will end — or seem empty.

More Miami Dolphins minicamp observations

A less-than-ideal contract situation has had no impact on Gesicki’s effort in practice — at least in the negative. In fact, it might be fueling him to go even harder.

Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said Gesicki has “been as impressive as any player on the team in terms of going after a challenge. … He’s been working diligently in the run and pass game to do things that that this offense can feature without taking away the stuff that has made him who he is.”

Gesicki is currently playing under the franchise tag. McDaniel provided no update on a potential extension Wednesday when asked by Pro Football Network. If Gesicki doesn’t sign an extension by Jul 15, he’ll have to play under the franchise tag for all of 2022.

New Dolphins pass rusher Melvin Ingram was present but didn’t practice Wednesday — and told reporters he won’t until the start of training camp. Ingram, who has had two sacks in the last two years, said he’s “200% healthy. … I feel amazing. Ready to rock and roll.”

Other Dolphins players who didn’t practice or did very little Wednesday: CB Byron Jones, OT Terron Armstead, DE Emmanuel Ogbah, FB Alec Ingold, and RB Raheem Mostert.

“We’re trying to be very deliberate and intentional with how we handle all those guys,” McDaniel said. “And it’s been very good. We haven’t had a setback, really across the board.”

Adam Beasley is the NFL Director for Pro Football Network. You can read all of Adam’s work here and give him a follow on Twitter @AdamHBeasley.


Every day, get free NFL updates sent straight to your inbox!