OTA observations: Tua has sharp day in limited work

No Tyreek Hill, no Jaylen Waddle or Odell Beckham Jr., no problem.

At least it wasn’t for Tua Tagovailoa, who had success during Tuesday’s OTA session in the very few reps the Miami Dolphins starting quarterback participated in.

Tagovailoa, whose camp is in the midst of negotiating a long-term contract extension with the Dolphins, only participated in Tuesday’s 7-on-7 work with Miami’s offense, sitting out all the 11-on-11 snaps.

He handled a couple series during the red zone session at the very beginning of practice and went a full hour on the sidelines before getting involved in the final 7-on-7 segment of practice, getting involved during the “going-in area” (scoring territory), which happened to start at the 35-yard line.

Tagovailoa, who is beginning his fifth season as the Dolphins starting quarterback, carved up the Dolphins defense during the red zone work, and then in the late period three of his five throws were for major gains, if not touchdowns.

Tagovailoa found Erik Ezukanma wide open coming off a slant in the middle of the field, and the Dolphins’ 2022 fourth-round pick scored a would-be touchdown.

His next touchdown pass came on a shorter slant to River Cracraft, who outsprinted Miami’s entire secondary and ran it in an extra 25 yards for a 35-yard touchdown.

And on the practice’s final pass Tagovailoa threaded the needle along the left sideline for a teardrop reception to rookie receiver Tahj Washington, who caught the pass while going out of bounds 5 yards shy of the end zone.

The other two passes during that final period were a check down, and a deep pass Ezukanma dropped.


Zach Sieler participated in Tuesday’s session, and it was the first time the media got to watch the team’s top defensive linemen this offseason. Sieler lined up all over Anthony Weaver’s defensive front, working at multiple spots, as did most of Miami’s new defensive linemen…..

Also participating in the OTA session the media attended was Cam Smith, the Dolphins’ 2023 second-round pick, who struggled to find playing time last season. Smith got a lot of OTA snaps because Jalen Ramsey and Kendall Fuller, the two projected starters on the boundary, are seemingly not participating in Miami’s offseason work, which is voluntary…..

Channing Tindall continues to make OTA plays that hint he might be salvageable after two previous seasons of falling short of expectations. Tindall, who broke up a possible touchdown pass to Durham Smythe during Miami’s early 7-on-7 period, has turned his play speed up a snap of the finger faster than it has been in the previous two seasons.

The Dolphins had the linebacker bringing pressure on certain plays during the 11-on-11 period and Tindall, the Dolphins’ 2022 third-round pick, was spotted in the backfield creating pressure on a handful of plays…..

Rookie pass rushers Chop Robinson and Mohamed Kamara each delivered a handful of plays where their rushes hurried the quarterbacks, or produced a would-be sack. Robinson, who sat out the last practice session the media attended, showcased a quick first step that gave Miami’s tackles problems. Both rookies are being thrown into the deep end because Jaelan Phillips, Bradley Chubb and Cameron Goode are sidelined by significant injuries that might have them begin the 2024 season on Miami’s Physically Unable to Perform list (PUP).

Grayson Murphy, an undrafted rookie from UCLA, deflected a screen pass, leading to an incompletion during 11-on-11 period….

Mike White lost a quarterback-to-center exchange that safety Jevon Holland picked up 7 yards down field and ran it back for a would-be touchdown…..

Tight end Jillian Hill dropped a goal-line touchdown pass from White, who was flushed out the pocket to his left….

Nickel cornerback Nik Needham, who is being cross-trained to play safety this summer, made a tackle for loss in the backfield on a run play, then celebrated with a two step….

Rookie receiver Je’Quan Burton, a former Florida Atlanta standout, dropped a possible touchdown pass from Tagovailoa in the back of the end zone with Needham in coverage.