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Tyreek Hill was the best scenario in the Kansas City Chiefs offense with possibly the league’s best quarterback Patrick Mahomes. It was therefore very surprising to see the stellar receiver ask for a trade. Now under the hot Florida sun, it is with Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins that Hill will want to prove that his success is not attributable to 500 million men.
Hill and Tagovailoa appeared to be developing an understanding quickly during the Dolphins’ various off-season camps, so much so that the “Cheetah” made startling remarks that his new quarterback was more precise than Mahomes and that he preferred a well placed pass to a pass. powerful far in the deep areas. Something to sting his former team and flatter his new best friend in a good way. It must be said that according to the echoes of the dolphin camp, Hill and Tagovailoa seem to bear witness to the controversial words of the former leaders.
It will be very interesting to see how Tagovailoa progresses with his new weapon and a Jaylen Waddle in his second season. Last year, contrary to what one might think, Tagovailoa attempted more overtaking in a deep straight-line overtaking situation (Go course), with 15.2% of those overtaking attempted versus Mahomes’s 9.8%, and this, without Hill shining in such a situation. We have to be honest and admit that the opposing defenses respected Mahomes’ arm and Hill’s speed so much that it was nearly impossible for the two to attempt the long game as the defenses cheated in this direction. With Waddle and Hill having similar athletic qualities, there will need to be more nuance in opposing defensive tactics. Cheating Hill means compromising for Waddle, or vice versa.
Where Hill’s play is likely to experience significant regression is in improvised games. Tagovailoa doesn’t have the mobility to save himself from the pressure and throw the ball for about 50 yards. Hill will have to replace his production of such plays with more yards after receptions, particularly on the play of the run / pass options, one of the strengths of the Tagovailoa game.
Tagovailoa’s arrival in the NFL didn’t go as smoothly as the Dolphins would have hoped, but with Hill, Waddle and Mike Gesicki, among others, everything is ready for Tua to demonstrate the high hopes Miami had placed in him by selecting him in fifth place. in 2020.
The Juju Smith-Schuster Revival?
In football as in life, results are often the result of circumstances coming together. In 2018, a charming young second-year wide receiver is making it rain or shine in the big attack from the Steelers led by Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell and Ben Roethlisberger. At the time a certain Juju Smith-Schuster, who was celebrating his 22nd birthday during the season, seemed to establish himself as the future of his position alongside one of the biggest stars of the circuit, that of Antonio Brown.
Three seasons later, Smith-Schuster has gone from a playful youngster adored by fans to a player who falls short of expectations and is criticized for his numerous social posts that are sometimes disrespectful of his opponent. Is that since 2018 Smith-Schuster has been experiencing his share of injury and has seen Brown and Bell’s departures marry another departure, that of power in Roethlisberger’s arm. Sentenced to only receive short passes and the predictable air strike, Juju sees his stats drop dramatically.
Now with the Chiefs, led by the cannon from which the rest of Pat Mahomes’ body hangs, Smith-Schuster finds himself in a dream situation with the departure of Tyreek Hill. Without Hill, Byron Pringle and DeMarcus Robinson, the Chiefs will have to replace 178 receptions last year with the addition of Smith-Schuster, Skyy Moore and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
At just 25, Smith-Schuster is still in his prime and is the only Chiefs wide receiver to take over 100 balls in a single season (111 in 2018 and 97 in 2020). Worse still, no receiver has received more than 59 passes in a season. Moore is a green rookie and Valdes-Scantling has never managed to reach another level despite the presence of Aaron Rodgers on his team. With all the talent of Patrick Mahomes and the offensive genius of Andy Reid, all the tools are available for Smith-Schuster to revive his career.