There’s only so much that Moss, the Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver, could have helped the second-year signal-caller with, even if the Alabama product had requested his help. However, the six-time Pro Bowler lent his hand to a player who Tagovailoa might depend on in the coming months.
NFL legend Randy Moss mentored Will Fuller earlier in his career
In his five seasons with the Houston Texans, Will Fuller V developed a name for himself as an explosive deep threat receiver. The 21st overall pick in 2016 averaged 14.9 yards and scored 24 touchdowns across 53 games in that span.
Now, Fuller — who hauled in 53 passes for 879 yards and eight touchdowns in 11 games last season — is a member of the Dolphins. Miami signed the veteran wideout to a one-year, $10.6 million contract in March. He did not play in Week 1 as he served the last game of a suspension he received last fall for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Fuller’s ability to separate himself from defenses and score long touchdowns will be desperately needed in the Dolphins’ offense. According to the Palm Beach Post, Fuller recently credited Moss for helping him hone his playmaking abilities several years ago.
“[Moss] said a lot of receivers, when they run their posts, they turn back and look at the quarterback. You know, the quarterback he’s probably already thrown the ball. So he told me to look up when they throw the ball don’t look back at the quarterback. That’s helped me out a lot.”Will Fuller
Dolphins fans know from experience how successful Moss proved in that area. The four-time first-team All-Pro selection totaled 48 receptions for 816 yards and 10 touchdowns in 12 career games against Miami.
Tua Tagovailoa needs someone like Fuller at his disposal
When Tagovailoa torched SEC defenses at Alabama, he did so with several future first-round draft picks at receiver. He slung touchdowns to the likes of DeVonta Smith, Henry Ruggs III, Jaylen Waddle — his current teammate on the Dolphins — and Jerry Jeudy en route to earning All-SEC honors twice.
However, the talented quarterback lacked a reliable deep-ball threat in his first season with the Dolphins. DeVante Parker flashed those skills in 2019, a year before Tagovailoa arrived in Miami, but his numbers took a hit in 2020. The seventh-year wideout hauled in four catches for 81 yards in a 17-16 victory over the New England Patriots in Week 1.
Dolphins fans can only salivate about what the trio of Fuller, Parker, and Waddle can do if all three stay healthy. Deshaun Watson grew into an elite quarterback in large part because the 6-foot, 184-pound Fuller created mismatches and took advantage of defenses blanketing DeAndre Hopkins.
Waddle can spend his rookie season playing a versatile gadget role, similar to what the Kansas City Chiefs have done with Tyreek Hill. Fuller and Parker are traditional wideouts, with the latter excelling as a dangerous weapon who can score at ease in the right offense.
No one is suggesting the sixth-year wideout will break out for 80 catches and 1,110 yards over the next 16 games. Keep in mind that he hasn’t played in more than 11 games in a single season since 2016. With that said, his presence will be widely appreciated on a Dolphins team hoping to win its first playoff game since Jan. 6, 2001, if he can stay on the field.
The Dolphins have tried surrounding Tagovailoa with as many weapons as possible
Unfortunately for Colin Cowherd, the Dolphins want the Tua Tagovailoa experiment to work. The long-suffering franchise put its future in him, not Justin Herbert or Justin Fields, as the starting quarterback,
Giving Tagovailoa more offensive weapons should, in theory, help him make strides in his sophomore season. Waddle hauled in four catches for 61 yards and a touchdown in his NFL debut. All eyes will be on Fuller in Week 2, especially with Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills coming to town.
Fuller tormented the Dolphins with five catches, 124 receiving yards, and a 73-yard touchdown in an October 2018 victory. Nearly three years later, it’s time for him to give the hometown fans a taste of what it’s like when he pulls off those feats for their team.