Tua Tagovailoa came in with just as much hype as any other top 5 prospects, as the Dolphins drafted the Alabama alum with the 5th overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft. But things didn’t go as well as both would have hoped for in Tua’s first season at the helm. And he was open about his struggles last year.
The Dolphins went 10-6 in 2020, but that success was despite Tua Tagovailoa rather than because of him. Tagovailoa went 6-3 as the Dolphins starter in 2020 but was pulled mid-game twice for veteran backup Ryan Fitzpatrick. The 38-year-old led Miami to a victory in one of those contests and nearly picked up two wins.
— SunSentinel Dolphins (@SSMiamiDolphins) December 27, 2020
The pressure also mounted on him considering how the other QBs drafted in the class were doing. Joe Burrow impressed many despite a horrible offensive line before he got injured. And Justin Herbert, who was drafted a pick after Tua, set the rookie record for touchdowns. Tagovailoa on the other hand threw only 11 scores in 9 games and had an overall QBR of only 52.5.
⚡ CHARGER UP! ⚡
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 7, 2021
Tua Tagovailoa said that he wasn’t comfortable in his rookie season.
“Last year, for me, I wasn’t as comfortable just in general,” Tagovailoa said. “I wasn’t comfortable calling plays. I think the guys that we had last year were phenomenal and I just didn’t have the comfortability of checking plays, alerting plays. Just rode with the play even if I knew in a way that it wasn’t going to work and I was going to try to make it work.
“But the firepower we have this year, I mean, it’s good, but you got to get it out to them, too. If you’re able to protect yourself, then get it out to them and have them make plays, then you’ll be good.”
Tua also spoke about his injury rehabilitation process. His strength and conditioning process has changed significantly as a result, adding it “looks a lot different this year” because of the improvements he’s made in his hip.
“I guess you could say the focus was the glutes to help support the hip,” the quarterback explained. “My hip feels 10 times better than it did last year. The confidence level for myself, I feel really confident coming into this second year after that injury two years ago.”
Voluntary OTA workouts so players have no obligation to show up. A few things noticed from players who are here (Part 1)
– Tua Tagovailoa rocking a beard & stronger voice calling signals at line.
– Preston Williams, Elandon Roberts, Vince Biegel running well coming off injuries.
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) May 26, 2021
HC Brian Flores made it public that he still has faith in the former Crimson Tide for the future. Tagovailoa will also have a full offseason for the first time to learn the playbook perfectly. So it should be very interesting to see Tua and the Dolphins next season.