Tua Tagovailoa prepares for his first career start

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) looks to pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) (Lynne Sladky, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

DAVIE, Fla. – Tua Tagovailoa is getting ready for his first NFL start.

Tagovailoa said that he spent the bye week at the facility getting ready for the game.

He said the only day that he took off was Sunday, the rest of the time was spent preparing.

Tagovailoa said his family helps keep him grounded, “What helps me is my family, they aren’t too concerned with the hype... When I talk to my parents on the phone, they don’t necessarily want to know how football went, they want to know about how my day went.”

The rookie quarterback was asked about his relationship with backup Ryan Fitzpatrick, “The only thing that’s different is that I’m getting reps now.”

Tagovailoa said that whenever he gets off the field, Fitzpatrick has some advice and words of wisdom for him.

On the task of facing the Rams defense, Tagovailoa said, “It’s really exciting for our offense... we know what we’re going up against. We’re going up against one of the best defenses in the league.”

Tagovailoa tries to get in the mind of the defensive players to try to better his game.

He focuses on the little details, his eyes, looking off a defender, and looking for any little edge that he can get.

In terms of leadership, “My leadership plan to be the same Tua I’ve always been. I don’t have to go out and yell at guys, that’s not me... There might be certain instances where we might get into a little bit with the receivers and the linemen, everyone is just so competitive here, that’s just the nature of how the game goes sometimes.”

Tagovailoa said his relationship with offensive coordinator Chan Gailey will help.

Tagovailoa added, “You look at the resume of Chan he’s been in the NFL, he’s been in college, he’s been a head coach, he’s been an OC, he knows what he’s talking about.”

Tagovailoa said that Gailey puts the offense into the best situation possible with play calls and trying to move guys around.

Tagovailoa is actually right-handed. He eats and wings a bat with his right hand.

Tagovailoa is only left-handed when it comes to shooting a basketball and throwing a football.

About the Author:

David Lang is executive producer of the Local 10 sports department.