Offseason organized team activities are picking up steam around the NFL — offering a sneak peek of what to expect from the 2023 NFL season.
For the Miami Dolphins, this means chatting with players about off-duty adventures and expectations for the upcoming season. That said, former first-round pick Jaylen Waddle spoke to the media on Tuesday and was asked about quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who began taking Jui-Jitsu training to help him fall more gracefully.
“We were working out this summer,” Waddle explained. “He was like, ‘Bro, I’ve got to go to jiujitsu.’ I was like, ‘Hey bro, go and rock out, you got it.’ He’s got some moves. I told him to teach me a little something-something.
“He’s been working on his craft, but that just shows how much he’s bought in.”
Tagovailoa missed four regular season games — and the team’s playoff bout with the Buffalo Bills — after suffering multiple head injuries throughout the season. When healthy, Tagovailoa had a stretch of three-straight games with three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Throughout his 13-game season, he threw 25 touchdowns compared to just eight interceptions while leading the league with an average of 8.9 yards per pass attempt.
“[Tagovailoa]’s been great,” Waddle said. “Y’all are going to see it and y’all keep coming out, seeing how he throws the ball and he’s being him.”
Waddle also mentioned that he’s put on some weight and discussed the jump he expects between years two and three.
“Last year I feel like we were learning,” Waddle said. “Now we kind of know the details and what he’s looking for, what [Tagovailoa]’s looking for. So getting to the spots, beating man coverage, things like that. So it’s just more knowledge of the offense.”
Waddle lead the league with an average of 18.1 yards per reception in 2022. The former Alabama standout surpassed 100 receiving yards six times after reaching the century mark just once as a rookie. He caught 11 of 19 targets for a career-best 171 yards and two touchdowns in Week 2 against the Baltimore Ravens.
“Another year under my belt,” Waddle said of his growth heading into the new season. “I get to see how the league works even more. I think preparation, seeing defenses and knowing what a defense is going to do, how they plan on playing us and adjusting the game.
“I feel like it’s a lot I can grow from in the first two seasons. Still growing, just trying to stack days together.”