The training camp notebook consistently raves about the chunk gains in the intermediate passing game. When Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle are in the huddle, those 15-yard plays can go for 50-yard scores on any given snap. That’s what happened Monday with a trio of catch-and-runs.
Tua Tagovailoa found Tyreek Hill with a well-located pass over the middle as Hill fired out of his break, secured the catch and went to work. On the next play, Jaylen Waddle made onlookers feel like they were watching the same play on loop, only this time from Skylar Thompson. A few plays later, Waddle caught a pass from Tagovailoa that looked like a repeat of his long catch-and-run in the Carolina game last season.
Attacking intermediate zones comes from space created by the threat of that speed, according to Dolphins Safeties Coach Steven Gregory.
“Any time you’ve got two receivers that are that fast … it puts stress on the entire defense. That speed, that vertical release into the defense, guys have to be thinking about over the top and then that opens up the intermediate part of the field. It’s great to see those guys out there together. It’s definitely a unique element.”
It’s fitting that the intermediate damage was done one practice after Tua found Tyreek for the 65-yard connection that has made the rounds on social media.
“We’re very multiple as a defense,” Gregory said. “We’re giving them a lot of different looks and doing a lot of different things schematically, and to see Tua launch that ball and strike it out there to Tyreek Hill … hopefully that’s a sign of things to come on Sundays (for our offense ).”