NFL - Football: Tyreek Hill's risky bet under the Florida sun

NFL – Football: Tyreek Hill’s risky bet under the Florida sun

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Tyreek Hill was a best-case scenario in the Kansas City Chiefs offense with possibly the league’s best quarterback in Patrick Mahomes. It was therefore very surprising to see the star 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 attributed to the 500 million man.

Hill and Tagovailoa seemed to quickly develop a chemistry during the Dolphins’ various offseason camps, so much so that the “Cheetah” made surprising remarks about his new quarterback being more accurate than Mahomes and that he preferred a well-positioned pass to a powerful pass far into 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 Dolphins camp, Hill and Tagovailoa seem to prove the controversial words of the former Chiefs.

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 passes in a deep passing situation in a straight line (Go route), with 15.2% of such passes attempted against 9.8% for Mahomes, and this, without Hill who shines in such a situation. We must be honest and admit that the opposing defenses respected Mahomes’ arm and Hill’s speed so much that it was almost impossible for the duo to attempt the long game as the defenses cheated in this direction. With Waddle and Hill having similar athletic qualities, there will have to be more nuance in opposing defensive tactics. To cheat to Hill is to compromise for Waddle, or vice versa.

Where Hill’s playing is in danger of experiencing a significant regression is in the improvised games. Tagovailoa just doesn’t have the mobility to save himself from the pressure and throw the ball some 50 yards. Hill will have to replace his production of such plays with more yards after receptions, in particular on plays of run/pass options, one of the strengths of the game of Tagovailoa.

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 in place for Tua to demonstrate the high hopes that Miami had placed in him by selecting him in fifth place in 2020.

The revival of Juju Smith-Schuster?

In football as in life, results are often the result of circumstances that come together. In 2018, a young and dashing young second-year wide receiver is making it rain or shine in the Steelers’ big offense 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 be establishing himself as the future of his position alongside one of the biggest stars on the circuit in Antonio Brown.

Three seasons later, Smith-Schuster has gone from a playful young man beloved by fans to a player who falls short of expectations and is criticized for his numerous social media posts that are sometimes disrespectful of the opponent. It is that since 2018, Smith-Schuster has experienced his share of injury and he has seen the departures of Brown and Bell marry another departure, that of the power in the arm of Roethlisberger. Condemned to only receive short passes and the predictable aerial attack, Juju sees his statistics drop drastically.

Now with the Chiefs, led by the cannon to 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 additions 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 catch more than 100 balls in a single season (111 in 2018 and close with 97 in 2020). ). Worse still, no receiver has caught 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 in his team. With all the talent of Patrick Mahomes and the offensive genius of Andy Reid, all the tools are in place for Smith-Schuster to relaunch his career.

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