The Miami Dolphins held a handful of press conferences on Wednesday, ranging from general manager Chris Grier and assistant GM Marvin Allen to star cornerback Xavien Howard. But no presser was more significant than when starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa met with the South Florida media.
For only the second time since the 2022 NFL season concluded, Tagovailoa met with the media to discuss his career-threatening injuries and what he's looking forward to this upcoming season. But first, he shed some light on his jiu-jitsu training.
"I'm still a white belt," Tua laughed. "I learned how to fall, some grappling techniques, and some other things that I don't want to disclose. For the most part, learning how to fall, you think it's easy, "just don't fall and hit your head," but there's a lot more to it."
Tua then went on to add that learning jiu-jitsu has taught him how to disperse his energy more when he falls. "It's actually a lot cooler than you think when you hear 'learning how to fall. When you practice it, it becomes second nature."
Later, Tua was asked if he ever contemplated retiring throughout the process. Here's what he said.
"I considered it. But for me, it would be hard to walk away..... I always dreamed of playing as long as I could so my son could watch & see what his dad does... it's my health and my body. I feel like this is what's best for me & my family. I love the game of football."
He was then asked if it was hard to re-watch some of the hits he took this past season.
"It wasn't tough to watch...I want to get better at everything I can do to help the team win games. and I know the biggest one is my health." He then explained how he's been watching the film with his jiu-jitsu coach and reliving some of the different scenarios to learn better how to fall.
Tagovailoa spoke about the continuity he finally has on the offensive side of the football.
(NOTE: For those that don't know, this is the first time since his early days at Alabama, where he had the same offensive coordinator or head coach.)
tua on continuity w/ the coaching staff— josh houtz (@houtz) April 19, 2023
"it's been a lot better of an offseason knowing that i don't have to learn a new system, new formations...it's good to know i already have a year under my belt...this is really good. good because of the guys we have...we're all excited."
Lastly, Tagovailoa was asked whether he could've played in the Dolphins' wildcard matchup vs. the Buffalo Bills. Tua admitted he doesn't know how close he was to being able to play vs. the Bills — in the playoffs — but does say if the coaching staff or Grier had asked him, "there would have been no question as to whether or not he was ready to go."
Tua Tagovailoa sounds excited and ready for the 2023 NFL season. I know I am.
What are your thoughts on Tua Tagovailoa's comments during today's press conferences? Are you excited about what he can do with head coach Mike McDaniel in year two? How do you think the new additions to the receiving corps will help? Are you worried about Austin Jackson starting at right tackle? Let us know in the comments section below!