What more could a Dolphins fan want? Hall of Fame linebacker Zach Thomas with the pre-practice hype speech. Mike White dialing up Jaylen Waddle for 40-plus yards early in the team period, and Tua Tagovailoa with the home run ball for a 75-yard score to Tyreek Hill.
A fun day celebrating Zach Thomas and the return of the football season – here are the highlights:
Practice 4 July 30, 2023
Last summer's camp provided foreshadowing of two wide receivers who would scratch the surface of the NFL record books. Before Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle became the third tandem in league history to record more than 3,000 receiving yards, they made play-after-play under the scorching South Florida summer sun.
Sunday was more of the same. It started with an over-the-shoulder grab from Waddle off the hand of quarterback Mike White.
"(Waddle) is unbelievable," White said. "The one thing with (Hill and Waddle) is there's no outthrowing them. So you can throw it as far as you can and they will get it. Waddle showed what he's so good at is tracking the ball and making contested catches."
The fun continued a few plays later when Tua Tagovailoa dialed up the Dolphins all-time single-season receiving leader for a 75-yard touchdown toss.
The fans, they pretty much fuel me. That love, I am not going to lie. I read some of their comments. It’s pretty cool comments, the love that they have for me. Dolphins HOF LB Zach Thomas on Dolphins fans
Zach Thomas fought back tears when recounting the support of Dolphins fans over the last 25-or-so years. The relentless social media push to get one of the greatest of all-time into the Hall of Fame was not lost on the tackling machine from Pampa, Texas.
When it was time to face those fans and address them ahead of practice, Zach threw on his game face.
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Tagovailoa dazzled on this day with a handful of touchdown passes. He showcased his arm-talent with a variety of throws varying in degree of difficulty. He was dropping dimes on deep shots in the one-on-one period, he was laying touch throws in the red zone, and driving fast balls into tight coverage. QB1 had everything working on this Sunday.
So did Jaelan Phillips, who produced sack, run-stuff and pass break up production in his work during team drills.
Jevon Holland and Kader Kohou demonstrated tight coverage on a day where the offense was in its bag. Holland continues to process and drive on passes in front of him to the tune of a handful of pass breakups. Kohou's matchup with Hill during one-on-ones was must-see action. He confidently matched the Cheetah and traded catches and incompletions with the All-Pro.