Speaking with Peter King in the latest edition of Football Morning in America, Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa discussed various hot-button topics surrounding his health, his training, and the atmosphere around the 2023 version of the Miami Dolphins football team.
One interesting point of discussion was around Tagovailoa’s efforts to prevent future concussions after suffering two confirmed head injuries in 2022 — the second of which saw Tua miss the end of the regular season as well as Miami’s playoff contest against the Buffalo Bills. Tagovailoa knows his health is paramount to the team’s success going forward.
Tua spoke on his efforts to bulk up this offseason in an attempt to be able to handle getting hit a little bit better as well as his jiu-jitsu training to learn how to fall properly and avoid hitting his head on the turf.
“I think the cool thing about the entirety of the offseason is that I feel like I’ve put myself in a situation where I checked the boxes on, like, okay, this is what happened last year. What were some other injuries? I feel like I checked the boxes to prepare myself the best way I can to avoid those this year.”
Another thing the young quarterback has done to hopefully reduce the chances of getting another serious brain injury is a recent switch in what helmet he uses when on the field. Tagovailoa recently switched to the VICIS Zero2 Matrix design, which is a quarterback-specific helmet that dents when it incurs a large amount of force — specifically to the back of the head.
“On the [NFL’s helmet-information] chart, as we were discussing new helmets and whatnot, they were talking about that it’s 1 percent better than the helmet that I’m in. Now, okay, you look at 1 percent. That’s not a drastic change from the helmet that I’m in. But then you look at playing on the field, and I figure that 1 percent better that you got on this play or that play, and eventually it ends up adding up. I’m willing to take my chances with it. I’m definitely going to see what this thing can do.”
King also asked Tagovailoa about his relationship with head coach Mike McDaniel and how that differs from his relationship with past coaches — in the National Football League and in college while playing for Nick Saban at Alabama.
“Mike allows me just to play quarterback. I don’t have to be anyone other than Tua.”
With his recent changes in training, body composition, and helmet choices, hopefully, the 2023 version of Tua Tagovailoa is the best — and healthiest — version Miami Dolphins fans have seen yet.
To read Peter King’s entire column — including words from Mike McDaniel himself, click here.