Athletes like to say they ignore the noise. And they also like to react to the noise they are ignoring.
Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill has spent plenty of time in the five episodes of his podcast reacting to the noise surrounding quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. In the latest episode, featuring Dolphins receiver Jaylen Waddle, Hill once again defends Tua — and floats an interesting conspiracy theory regarding the thing that sparked the most criticism of Tua during the 2022 offseason.
“It’s gonna be a lot of people taking their words back on what they said about [Tua],” Hill said. His co-host, Julius Collins, tried to get Hill to name names.
“Reporters, analysts, Twitter trolls,” Hill said. “All those people are gonna take their words back on what they said about [Tua]. I’m gonna be sitting there, eating my popcorn.”
It’s easy to forget that the criticism came mainly from a clip that was posted by the Dolphins on social media of Tua underthrowing Hill. Hill now seems to suggest that the Dolphins posted that clip on purpose.
“I really believe they showed that clip of Tua under throwing me just to get people talking,” Hill said. “Because they really know what Tua’s capable of, for real.”
So, to summarize, Hill thinks the Dolphins may have posted a clip of Tua underthrowing Hill in order to get people talking. And it worked. And Hill thinks those people who swallowed the hook that was deliberately baited by the Dolphins will have to take back the words that the Dolphins specifically prompted them to say.
All of this talk about Tua serves only to put more attention, and in turn pressure, on what he does in 2022. Hill also realizes that, right or wrong, it’s up or out for Tua in 2022.
“You know, in the NFL they only give you like two or three years to be a successful quarterback, especially if you’re a first-round draft pick,” Hill said. “And if you don’t succeed after those years, then it’s kick rocks, man. So, basically, they’re going to put Tua into that. So this is basically his last year, man, just to show people what he’s got.”
And that’s the most accurate thing Hill has said about Tua. This is it. No excuses. The team is in place around him. If he doesn’t get it done, the Dolphins will become the most attractive destination for a veteran quarterback looking for a new home in 2023, whether it’s Tom Brady, Lamar Jackson, or someone else who may decide after 2022 to start looking to stack the deck in his favor.