Tua Tagovailoa ‘can see the hype’ surrounding Dolphins ahead of Week 1

Tua Tagovailoa taps the helmet of Tyreek Hill of the Miami Dolphins between drills during the Miami Dolphins Mandatory Minicamp at the Baptist Health Training Complex on June 1, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) (Joel Auerbach, 2022 Joel Auerbach)

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – The anticipation ahead of the Miami Dolphins Week 1 matchup with the New England Patriots is growing, both inside the team’s locker room and out.

Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is entering his third season in the NFL, but this will be the first time he gets to open a new season in front of his home fans.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Tagovailoa admitted that there is a little extra juice that comes with preparing for the first game on the schedule.

“I think Week 1 is always exciting,” he said. “I can say every game is exciting, but Week 1 is always exciting.”

Tua has been around the team long enough to recognize that there is a different buzz in the air this year.

There is hope that between new head coach Mike McDaniel and what appears to be a deeper, more complete roster, the Dolphins can finally get over the hump and get back to being, at least, a perennial playoff participant.

“A lot of the fans are really looking forward to seeing guys like Tyreek (Hill), seeing guys like Terron Armstead, seeing a lot of the new additions that we’ve picked up throughout this offseason,” Tagovailoa said.

The 24-year-old QB also remarked that the home opener could draw a rare sellout crowd at Hard Rock Stadium, another sign of the enthusiasm exuding from the fanbase.

“You can see the hype around the team, with the fans and all the people that want to come and see our team play,” he said.

Miami is coming off a season in which they won nine games while boasting one of the best defenses in the NFL.

With every defensive starter returning, there is confidence that the unit will pick up where it left off in 2021.

Combine that with McDaniel, an innovative, offensive-minded head coach, a revamped offensive line, high-end speed in the backfield and the addition of Tyreek Hill, one of the NFL’s premiere playmakers, and it becomes easier to understand where all the juice is coming from.

“I think we all feel pretty confident in our gameplay, where we’re at leading up to our season opener, and I think a lot of guys are confident and we’re ready to play this Sunday,” Tagovailoa said, before elaborating in greater detail about what he feels the offense can do.

“I think I’m most excited with the playmakers that we have. You check the ball down, you never know what you’re going to get and then now you can take the top off with guys like Tyreek. I know everyone’s probably seen how Tyreek ran past the defender that had the deep quarter and we still threw that and that’s an advantage that we have with having someone like him, and then if Jaylen (Waddle) does play, I would say the same thing. But I think those guys are going to give other guys opportunities to get open for us and make big plays for us.”

The Dolphins will host New England on Sunday afternoon.

During his short career, Tagovailoa has a perfect 3-0 record against the Patriots, including a Week 1 victory at New England last September.

He quickly shot down the notion that the unblemished history against the Belichick squad had more to do with him than the other 52 players on the roster.

“I wouldn’t attest that I’m 3-0, I would attest that we’re 3-0 as a team,” he said. “It takes all of us. I’m just the distributor. I’ve just got to get it to our playmakers. They make the plays, and our defense gets us the ball back and our defense make stops. Special teams, they do their part and that’s how you win games in this in this league.”

We’ll see if Tua and his pals can make it four-for-four against the Pats.

Kickoff from Hard Rock Stadium is set for 1 p.m.

About the Author:

David Dwork joined the WPLG Local 10 News team in August 2019. Born and raised in Miami-Dade County, David has covered South Florida sports since 2007.