Tua Tagovailoa: “Nothing that a little film can’t help”
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa scored a two-handed field goal in his first outing operating Mike McDaniel’s offense on Saturday night, and his new coach liked what he saw of it. former Alabama All-American during NFL preseason game.
“It was my first opportunity with him, and he did, really, everything we asked him to do,” said McDaniel, who left his position as offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers to take up the job of high level with Miami in January. “His control of the attack, his control of the players was really good. He distributed the ball well. There were a few times where he got to three in his progression, and he adapted to the defense. They kind of went out and didn’t fit the staff and it wasn’t something you wouldn’t necessarily expect or prepare for in pre-season it didn’t bother him at all so I was happy with his performance.
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“It was something to build on going forward that the team was really excited to see.”
In the Dolphins’ 15-13 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, Tagovailoa completed 6 of 8 passes for 58 yards without a touchdown or interception. In his first preseason action of his third NFL campaign, Tagovailoa had a punt and a field goal to show for two game-time possessions.
“It was good,” Tagovailoa said. “I liked being there with the guys. I appreciated the atmosphere which reigned this evening with the fans. I know as an offense you always want to get down and complete every score ending ride. Obviously, that was not the case. The two drives we had, we had a field goal. But our job as an offense is to try to get down and get some points on the board.
“I felt there were some things we needed to clean up in pre-snap ops, and also everyone playing together – we all knew our missions and knew what to do. But I think for the most part, extremely proud of how the second string guys came in, the third string guys came in, stepped up. A lot of young guys played extremely well in this game.
In Miami’s first series on Saturday night, Tagovailoa completed a third and 4 passes for 17 yards to running back Chase Edmonds. But the practice ended with a punt when tight end Mike Gesicki couldn’t save a third and an 8th pitch.
In the Dolphins’ second series, Tagovailoa again made a third pass to Edmonds to produce a first down. But after a 9-yard completion to Gesicki on first down, Miami was placed on the Las Vegas 24-yard line, running back Sony Michel was stuffed for no gain on consecutive runs and Larnel Coleman was flagged for a false start in fourth and first place. , forcing the Dolphins to settle for a field goal with 13:34 to go in the first half.
“As you can see, we were a little rusty when we went there,” Tagovailoa said, “but that’s nothing a little movie can’t help. I think it’s going to be good, and hopefully we’ll have another opportunity to go out and play some sets next week too.
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Tagovailoa played without one of Miami’s top two wide receivers – Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle – who didn’t take the field on Saturday.
“It’s the same thing that is the imperfect situation that is preseason for the game of football,” McDaniel said. “You try to balance preparing guys and not putting them at risk in an exhibition, so with each player it’s a bit on a case-by-case basis.
“I didn’t really know what I was going to do with Tua, and I didn’t plan on making a decision until the last second, and he kind of helped me with that.”
The Dolphins wrap up their preseason schedule against the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday before kicking off the regular season Sept. 11 against the New England Patriots.
“I also hope to be able to play in the Eagles game,” Tagovailoa said. “As a competitor, I think anyone in the locker room wants to do that. … I wanted to play more shots in this game, but Mike said that was it.
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Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.