Two years after selecting him with the fifth overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins expect to see a breakout season of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. His first two seasons haven't been easy, but they hope that he will take off this year.
Brian Flores is gone and even though publicly there was nothing wrong between them, the front office believes that Mike McDaniel will get a better version of him. From day one, it was clear that the Fins and the new coach were committed to Tagovailoa.
Even so, the critics are still out there. While many fans are optimistic about his potential, others claim that his arm strength isn't good enough for a franchise quarterback. However, neither McDaniel nor Tua are paying attention to the haters.
Mike McDaniel excited about Tua's work so far
“I’m really excited about the reps that Tua’s getting in this offense," McDaniel said, via ProFootballTalk. "I’m excited about where he’s at. Tua’s very, very critical of his ball placement and he’s a very accurate quarterback as a result. Yesterday, he had some throws that he demands better of himself. But like I told everybody else, today was the first day I got to really evaluate Tua because that is professional quarterback in the National Football League. You’re going to have things that you don’t execute to perfection. You’re going to have people talking about how you’re not performing. And guess what? No one cares.”
McDaniel also noticed that Tua is growing in confidence on many levels. “I think his teammates have really noticed a difference in him,” McDaniel said. “He’s opening up. He’s kind of coming into his own in that regard. And he’s been unbelievably coachable. He’s let his guard down. And we’ve been able to keep his confidence high — which it should be right now for sure — while correcting him and getting his game better, which is the ultimate goal for everyone.”
Tua Tagovailoa doesn't care about the critics
Tagovailoa never seemed to pay too much attention to what's been said about him on social media. First it was the Deshaun Watson rumors, later the doubts about his arm strength. That didn't seem to change, but his reaction did.
“For me, it’s just zone that out," Tagovailoa said. "We come out to practice. Everyone else — Twitter warriors, keyboard warriors, whatever you want to call them — they’re not out here practicing with us working hard. I don’t know if you guys recorded that last one to Tyreek. I don’t know about you, but that looked like money.”
One of the biggest challenges for McDaniel will be to get the best out of Tagovailoa and help him become a franchise quarterback in Miami. Working on his confidence is not a bad way to start.