The head football coach for the Miami Dolphins, Mike McDaniel said that Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was a very guarded person when he first met him. He said it was his job to maximize his best abilities on the field.
Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel made an appearance on the Dan Lebatard Show this week. On the program, McDaniel was asked about quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. McDaniel said when he first met Tagovailoa after he arrived in Miami that, “there was a guy that was very guarded with scars.” Considering the insults and unnecessary criticism Tagovailoa received from fans and media because he was unable to perform at the highest level while he was recovering from a hip injury, it’s obvious why he was guarded. And that goes without mentioning the reports of some of the things that was said to him by his former head coach.
Mike McDaniel Says Tua Tagovailoa Was Very Guarded
Unlike his successful college career at Alabama where he had a supportive coach in Nick Saban, Tagovailoa’s time in the NFL has been the opposite. The more information that keeps coming out, it seems like the reports of former Dolphins coach Brian Flores not being that supportive of Tagovailoa may be more of a real thing than first realized.
McDaniel said in his own experience that, “in order to maximize yourself, it can’t hurt to have support and belief.” That statement almost screams Tagovailoa wasn’t getting support and belief in him before, so let’s start supporting and believing in him. All signs point to Tagovailoa beginning to guard himself after not having a good relationship with Flores. McDaniel went on to say, I don’t think he was put in the best position necessarily.
That position Tagovailoa was put in was that he landed on a team that seemed to have a toxic environment. He was placed in games when he was still mending from hip surgery, he had a coach that didn’t want to draft him, he constantly was in the middle of trade rumors, had receivers with the worst separation rate in the NFL, was on a team with no running game, and was on a team that had the worst offensive line in the NFL. Additionally, fans and media were criticizing him because he wasn’t performing like Justin Herbert when he didn’t have no playmakers and was recovering from the hip injury.
Reports also came out that there was locker room division about Tagovailoa, he wasn’t a leader, and had no confidence. But it appears that McDaniel has been made aware of all of these issues, whether he was made aware by Tagovailoa or others within the Dolphins organization.
McDaniel has been with a lot of NFL organizations and has seen a lot of NFL quarterbacks. He made it a point to say that Tagovailoa has the most accurate, catchable ball he’s ever seen. McDaniel said it was his job to make sure that his best years as a football player are right in front of him right now.
Tagovailoa has said earlier in the year that he can get to be himself with Mike McDaniel, which is very telling of who he could not be with Flores. Now that McDaniel is doing his part with his support and belief in him, Tagovailoa is able to be himself again as those walls drop and the emotional scars mend.