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Tua Tagovailoa review reversed Odell Beckham Jr.'s hesitance to join Dolphins

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. speaks to reporters during a news conference Wednesday at the Baptist Health Training Complex in Miami Gardens, Fla. Photo by Alex Butler/UPI
1 of 5 | Miami Dolphins wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. speaks to reporters during a news conference Wednesday at the Baptist Health Training Complex in Miami Gardens, Fla. Photo by Alex Butler/UPI

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla., May 15 (UPI) -- A thorough review of quarterback Tua Tagovalioa's performance played a key role in Odell Beckham Jr. reversing his hesitance to sign with the Miami Dolphins, the veteran wide receiver said.

"There's a lot of great things that he's been doing, at Alabama and here with the Dolphins," Beckham said at his introductory news conference Wednesday at the Baptist Health Training Complex in Miami Gardens, Fla.

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"I just I just saw an opportunity, when I really watched the film. ... I didn't look at a destination, I looked at myself in the mirror for a place for me in my career, and I just saw a lot of opportunity."

Beckham, who played with right-handed quarterbacks through his first 10 seasons, said his initial reluctance to play with Tagovailoa was because the Dolphins quarterback throws with his left hand.

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"I definitely was a little hesitant at first because, you know, he's a lefty. I always think I shied away from lefties," Beckham said of Tagovailoa.

Beckham said he listened to others who praised Tagovailoa for his accuracy.

Tagovailoa's breakout 2023 season -- when he logged career highs in completion percentage (69.3%) and touchdown passes (29), led the NFL with 4,624 passing yards and played all 17 games -- most likely played a role in Beckham's decision to sign a one-year deal earlier this month.

Conversations with coach Mike McDaniel, which included further film review, and previously relationships with Dolphins players, including former teammate Jalen Ramsey, also factored in.

"Coach Mike definitely is someone who sold it to me," Beckham said of McDaniel. "It's just his energy. We speak the same language, the conversations we had about football. Just the opportunity presented itself."

Beckham's injection into McDaniel's offense, which already led the NFL in yards a season ago, could improve Tagovailoa's ceiling and maybe push the Dolphins deeper into the postseason.

But Beckham, who struggled with injuries in recent years, will need to stay healthy and earn playing time before his impact can truly be known.

But McDaniel pointed to specific instances in which his services could amplify his already stellar attack -- where Beckham will line up alongside fellow star wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.

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"He was saying that on third downs, you know, they would get a lot of double [teaming] on both of them," Beckham said of defensive coverage on Hill and Waddle.

"There is just a lot of room for opportunity, Looking at it, I think it'll be a great matchup."

Beckham, who emerged as one of the NFL's best wide receivers through his first three seasons with the New York Giants, said the timing of the Dolphins' offense reminds him of that successful tenure. He said he is willing to play outside or in the slot while lining up with the Dolphins' other playmakers.

The veteran pass catcher, who won a Super Bowl in 2022 with the Los Angeles Rams, said he doesn't know how much longer he will play, but wants to finish his career "on a high note."

"That worked out well," Beckham said of his Super Bowl run. "I'm hoping this could work out the same way."

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