Tua Tagovailoa feels healthier, more comfortable as he gets ready to take year 2 jump

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) looks to pass against the Las Vegas Raiders during an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2020, in Las Vegas. The Miami Dolphins need a good game Sunday to ensure they get to keep playing, and that's especially true for Tua Tagovailoa. Coach Brian Flores has benched Tagovailoa twice in the fourth quarter, including last week at Las Vegas, when backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick helped Miami overcome a pair of deficits in the final 10 minutes. (AP Photo/David Becker) (David Becker, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

DAVIE, Fla. – Tua Tagovailoa addressed reporters on Wednesday afternoon to talk about his offseason progress.

The Dolphins quarterback said, “Just the whole shebang with that, I felt I wasn’t comfortable with during my rookie year. Just working on a lot of those things in year two to be better.”

Tagovailoa said he is still a work in progress in terms of his cadence, the order of operations in a play, and getting guys into the right spot.

In terms of the outside noise about Tagovailoa’s peformance, he said, “To be be honest, that’s not something that I’m focused on... I’m really focused on making this jump from my rookie year to this upcoming year two.”

Tagovailoa appreciates having extra time this offseason to work on the things he couldn’t last year as he recovered from hip surgery.

The quarterback said that his hip feels 10 times better this year than last year and his confidence in the hip is much higher.

Tagovailoa’s offseason work is more focused on the field this offseason to work out with his teammates.

In his conditioning program, Tagovailoa focused on “I wouldn’t say I focused on one specific part, I would say it’s full body... I guess you could say the focus if we had a leg day would really be the glutes to support the hip.”

Tagovailoa said, “I don’t think the Dolphins organization would have let me go out there if I was someone who could be injured if I went there... If you’re ready you never know when you’re coming off injuries.”

The quarterback said, “What happened last year it happened. That’s what my rookie year looked like. It’s not what I expected. That’s why I’ve been working really hard this offseason to help my team this year two for me.”

The second-year quarterback said he has a higher comfort level because he has the first year under his belt and has a better understanding of what’s happening on the field.

Tagovailoa said he’s been working on being more of a vocal leader in the huddle and working with guys individually.

Tagovailoa was asked about his beard, he said his mom and grandmother have asked him to shave it. However, his father likes it.

Based on all the offseason talk, Tagovailoa said, “There’s no extra motivation for me. It’s just playing to the standing and the level of this organization and the expectation I have for myself.”

Tagovailoa said he’s excited about the improvements to the group of wide receivers. He said the team has a variety of receivers who can do all sorts of things on the field.

Tagovailoa decided to stay in South Florida instead of going home to Hawaii because the weather in South Florida allows year-round workouts... Tagovailoa said, “I had the opportunity to gather a group of guys, receivers, some linemen as well, to go over some cadences, what it’ll sound like this year, have that operation going at the line of scrimmage. I wouldn’t be able to throw to my guys too if I was in Hawaii... You don’t just wake up and you’re able to do this. You have to do it consistently.”

In terms of his added bulk, Tagovailoa said, “I can feel it and from recordings I can see a difference... I think I’m at a better stage last year.”

Tagovailoa said he wasn’t worried about his hip last year while he was making throws or on the run.

He said that throwing isn’t as much arm, it’s more legs, core and the arms just follows, similar to golf.

Tagovailoa said, “I wasn’t as comfortable. I wasn’t as comfortable calling plays. I think that the guys we had last year were phenomenal... I just didn’t have the comfortability of checking plays, alerting plays... The firepower that we have this year is good. You gotta get it out to them too.”

Tagovailoa said, “I didn’t actually know the playbook really really good and that’s on no one else’s fault but my fault. Our play calls were simple when I was in. I didn’t have alerts and checks. Now feeling more comfortable, I can work my way through things.”

About the Author:

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