To paraphrase the immortal Allen Iverson: We talking about minicamp, man.
During Tuesday's opening day of Miami Dolphins minicamp practices, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa struggled in what was described as monsoon-like weather by some beat reporters. The second-year signal-caller reportedly tossed five interceptions during the session. Not an ideal situation, to be sure, but Tagovailoa noted that the high number of interceptions stemmed in part from trying to be aggressive during this particular practice.
"That's just been the emphasis for us, coming out to this first day of minicamp, was just to be aggressive, push the ball downfield," he said. "Obviously, you want to be smart but if there's a time to make mistakes, now's the time to make mistakes. We're just trying to see what we can fit in the hole, what we can throw within coverages and come in the film room and then learn from it."
If you're thinking to yourself, "Hmmm where have I heard another story about a QB who threw five interceptions during practice?" In 2019, during San Francisco 49ers training camp, Jimmy Garoppolo threw INTs on five consecutive passes. The Niners made it to the Super Bowl that campaign. Point being: Don't read too much into practice play-by-play.
It's only June. Blowing any performance -- great, good, bad or atrocious -- out of proportion is folly. Minicamps are meant for players, particularly young ones, to work on certain aspects ahead of vastly more important training camp in late July. Amplifying a rough outing in minicamp as evidence of preconceived belief is counterproductive to the process.
If there is ever a time for a young QB to make mistakes, it's in June minicamp. Learn from it. Improve.
The conditions, by all accounts, didn't aid Tua's rough afternoon. But the 23-year-old QB didn't use the rain as an excuse.
"We're gonna have to play in the rain," he said. "We're gonna have to play in conditions where the ball is gonna be wet, where it's gonna be cold. It's gonna be hot. You gotta expect the unexpected. It was really good for our guys to go out there and compete in the rain. I thought today was, you know, overall was an all right day. There's things that we gotta fix here within the next couple hours to look over film and correct for tomorrow."
With a talented Dolphins roster, which includes significant improvements on offense, a lot is riding on Tagovailoa improving in Year 2. Whether or not he hits those heights won't be foretold on a wet June afternoon.