Miami Dolphins OTAs observations: Tyreek Hill is already earning his paycheck

Tua Tagovailoa was not present for Miami Dolphins OTAs Tuesday, but you couldn't miss receiver Tyreek Hill, who had an active morning.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The Miami Dolphins held their second open practice of the Mike McDaniel era, and already it’s evident that McDaniel can’t put too much on the plate of star receiver Tyreek Hill. During a voluntary OTA workout held four months before the start of the regular season that was missing a bunch of starters — including quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (illness) — Hill gave postseason effort.

Tyreek Hill shows out in Miami Dolphins OTAs

Hill, who at $30 million AAV is the league’s highest-paid wide receiver, took no plays off Tuesday, running hard on every route — many of which were far downfield.

If there was any doubt that Hill will be the centerpiece of McDaniel’s 2022 offense, Tuesday’s practice erased it.

“That’s what I do, man,” Hill said. “When I came here, I signed up to work. I didn’t sign up just for the paycheck. I also signed up to be a team leader and also lead this team and show this team how I do things. How I do things is I work hard. I want the guys behind me to follow that.

“I just can’t be a guy in our locker room who says, ‘Hey, you guys should be doing this, doing that.’ I’ve got to be that guy who’s willing to come out on the field and work hard, show these young guys how to get the job down, and potentially win a Super Bowl. That’s what I’m here for.”

Hill has rare speed and agility, and showed it off Tuesday time and again, even if most of the targets that went his way weren’t completed (more on that below).

No quarterback controversy in South Florida

With Tagovailoa out sick, backup Teddy Bridgewater got plenty of exercise. But Tuesday’s practice served a cold blast of reality to anyone speculating that Bridgewater was brought in to push Tua (and possibly replace him should Tagovailoa struggle in Year 3).

Bridgewater was all over the place, throwing at receivers’ feet when he wasn’t launching it five yards too deep. A deep pass to Hill was so underthrown that the receiver became a defender so it wouldn’t be intercepted. Bridgewater wrapped his day up with a bad pick to Jevon Holland and an overthrow of Cedrick Wilson Jr.

The liveliest arm of the day belonged to rookie Skylar Thompson, the seventh-round pick out of Kansas State who connected with Braylon Sanders for a touchdown deep down the left sideline.

Tagovailoa, meanwhile, has impressed coaches and teammates this spring with his improved arm strength and command of the locker room. He’s already worn the orange practice jersey awarded to the player who had the best practice the day before.

“He earned it,” McDaniel said. “I think his teammates acknowledged that. What have I seen from him? I’ve seen a guy that’s attacking the moment, a guy that really likes to play football. … I’ve been very excited about his development as far as the offensive plan and being the starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins.”

Other Notes

Notable absences and abstentions at Tuesday’s voluntary practice beyond Tagovailoa: Cornerbacks Xavien Howard and Byron Jones, defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah, running back Raheem Mostert, offensive tackle Terron Armstead, and linebacker Jerome Baker.

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.

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