Tua More Comfortable Ahead of Year 2
As he prepares to enter his second season in the NFL, Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa seems to be building a better rhythm through training camp.
And after a golf outing with his father over the weekend, he reflected on the task of being the full-time signal-caller in South Beach.
“It relates to what’s going on in my life right now, too,” he said. “For me, when I’m golfing, my job is to focus on the ball and make sure I’m hitting the ball. Don’t look at it. Go through your technique and your fundamentals and he’ll watch it. When you’re playing quarterback, you obviously have got to watch the ball. But the analogy is keeping my focus on what I have ahead of me, what play we have. That ‘next play’ mentality.”
While he did get some solid reps in his rookie campaign in 2020, now Tagovailoa is focused on taking the reins of being the full-time starting quarterback for the Dolphins after Ryan Fitzpatrick left in free agency to join the Washington Football Team.
The former Alabama Crimson Tide star has also been shown to have a good personality, and look for all the positives in what was a COVID-affected middle-of-the-road rookie season.
“I’ve learned a lot,” Tagovailoa said. “To me, there’s talent and then there’s experience. No matter how much talent you have, I don’t think it overrides experience. For me, it’s a lot of learning. I learned a lot last year and continue to learn a lot. Most definitely, it’s been a positive. It was my first year and nothing overrides experience. Being able to get into those games, get the experience, learn behind Fitz last year, it’s helped me a lot.”
This season, Tua will have a new mentor behind him on the depth chart. And the sophomore QB is already giving props, not just to the position, but also to the squad around him.
“This year, having the offseason and having a new quarterback room with Jacoby [Brissett] in there, asking him questions, and going out there and actually doing it,” Tagovailoa said. “As many repetitions as we do now, it helps all of us, at every position. No matter how much film you watch, in order for you to be absorbing, you’ve got to do it.”
Tua also noted that he doesn’t feel rattled. As he builds his confidence in training camp, he is settling in more with his team’s system.
“I feel very comfortable,” he said. “When you’ve been in a place longer than a year, you know where everything is, the flow of how everything works. I just think when you know how things work, you adapt a lot easier to the culture of your surroundings. I know a lot of the guys from last year —– just being able to have some of the guys in the offseason has helped.”
In his transition, Tua also notes his work ethic. He always serves as his own motivation to play better.
“I’ve always been self-motivated. I’ve been confident in knowing what I can do,” he said. “I don’t really need motivation from elsewhere or from outside noise. That goes to the point, taking it day to day. It’s something that Coach Flo [Brian Flores] would say in team meetings — one meeting at a time, one walkthrough at a time, one practice at a time. For me, it’s been working.”
Now with a new sense of confidence and better flow, Tua Tagovailoa is looking forward to big things in 2021 with the Miami Dolphins.