MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The Miami Dolphins are playing the long game with Tyreek Hill this spring. Hill has done very little beyond individual drills during the handful of practices open to reporters during the offseason program. On Wednesday, Mike McDaniel revealed why:
“I’m very consistent that I’ll be inconsistent, from player to player,” McDaniel said. “It’s hard, but if you prove to the players that your intent is right and you’re doing stuff for the right reasons, and you pay attention, and know who’s deserving it of a little time off or maybe, you know, hypersensitive to maintenance of someone, case by case, you approach it as such, you know.
“I know one thing if Tyreek is at risk for further injury … he doesn’t know any speed on the practice field, as you guys know, but full go,” McDaniel added. “So, there’s also a component of coaches protecting players from themselves, and he’s dealing with some minor stuff. But, you know, if at any point, we think it makes the Miami Dolphins worse for someone to practice, turn the page, he will not practice.”
2023 Outlook for Miami Dolphins’ Tyreek Hill
Let’s translate McDanielese:
Hill has a minor injury he’s dealing with, but if it were the regular season — and certainly the postseason — we’d probably see him on the field.
The Dolphins are among the most cautious teams in the NFL when it comes to putting injured players on the practice field unless absolutely necessary, or they’re absolutely sure the player isn’t at risk of further injury.
Certainly, no one can doubt Hill’s toughness. As McDaniel suggested, he might be the hardest worker on the Dolphins’ roster in addition to being their best.
Hill has one speed — whether it’s the Super Bowl or the first day of OTAs. He has appeared in 108 of a possible 114 games in the first seven years of his career, including all 17 in his first season with Miami.
That season was arguably the best by a Dolphins receiver in their nearly six-decade history. His 119 catches and 1,710 receiving yards both set franchise records.
But with another year in McDaniel’s system, that might be Hill’s floor in 2023 — particularly if Tua Tagovailoa stays healthy.
McDaniel on Wednesday basically suggested as much.
“Tyreek is probably the least I’m worried about him being physically able to perform his tasks, and I will say he’s been executing his assignments in walkthroughs,” McDaniel said.
“He is putting his best foot forward, is night and day ahead of where he was last year with regard to the offense and has his mind set on improving and being even better from last year, which is the only place we want.”
If Hill does, it won’t be just Miami Dolphins records that could be at risk.
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