Why Miami Dolphins Believe Best Is Yet To Come for Slimmed-Down Tua Tagovailoa

    It appears as though Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa has dropped 15 or so pounds this offseason. Here's why he did it.

    MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel on Tuesday answered the biggest non-contract related question involving Tua Tagovailoa this offseason:

    Why did Tua drop all the weight that he gained to ensure he could survive a full NFL season for the first time?

    Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa Offseason Update

    Officially, the Dolphins still list Tagovailoa at his 2023 weight (227 pounds), but at Tuesday’s OTA practice, he certainly looked to be down some 15 pounds in the last five months. That weight loss has some observers worried that Tagovailoa will be at heightened injury risk in 2024.

    While Tagovailoa hasn’t yet spoken to reporters during organized team activities, our guess is his explanation will be similar to that of McDaniel — who acknowledged last week that Tagovailoa does indeed look “svelte.”

    “That’s a very understandable misconception,” McDaniel said. “We were not on an offseason weight program last year — it was strength. So him getting stronger and the unintended consequences for him personally and he saw his game, his strength increased but he felt like he could have the same amount of strength and kind of reshape his body and be a little lighter on his feet.

    “So it’s kind of the natural evolution of you get stronger and then you really pay attention to your diet, the times that you’re eating and when your caloric intake is, those types of things, so he can maintain those strength gains while also being a little more limber in the pocket I think is what’s [driven] him to kind of attack that which he’s done a great job of.”

    Translation: Tagovailoa has dropped some unnecessary weight that in 2023 limited his mobility but had a negligible effect on injury prevention.

    It’s muscle that matters, and the Dolphins believe he has plenty of it.

    Tua’s Coach a Familiar Name for Dolphins Fans

    Tagovailoa’s latest body transformation isn’t the only way he’s changed this offseason. He hired ex-Dolphins quarterback John Beck as his private quarterback coach to work on his mechanics.

    McDaniel was comfortable with the partnership given his long history with Beck. McDaniel was an offensive assistant in Washington in 2011, when Beck was a backup for the team now known as the Commanders.

    “I think he without thinking has probably generated a little more force on some throws that he’s trying to drive,” McDaniel said. “… There’s some familiarity with that which is awesome because with John, he knows what we’re trying to do and the direction or how we ask the quarterback to play.

    “I think just that connectivity to your game and trying to unearth every single inch and iota of professional development; that in itself, you’re headed in the right direction,” McDaniel added.

    “So I think there’s some things that I’ll probably see every day, and when you talk to him, I think there’s some times that he’s effortlessly doing some of the things that he’s used to doing, just not having to think as much because he’s been so deep diving into his trade.”

    Tagovailoa’s Best Yet To Come?

    Tagovailoa has been relentless each offseason in fixing what needs to be fixed.

    Early in his career, it was his health. (Tagovailoa was just five months removed from a traumatic hip injury when the Dolphins drafted him in 2020.)

    When McDaniel arrived, it was his confidence. Now, it’s his fitness and technique.

    KEEP READING: Best Miami Dolphins Quarterbacks of All Time

    Each time he tries to fix a problem, Tua has done so, which gives McDaniel confidence that he can make another big leap in his fifth season (their third together).

    “It’s been very exciting because at this point we’re like, ‘Alright, well let’s really push ourselves to really challenge this guy,’ because all he ends up doing is rising to the challenge within what we ask him to do,” McDaniel said.

    “I think to expect the same if not more growth within your game from each year, I don’t think is crazy. I think for us to expect just as much if not more from Year 2 to Year 3 is very safe for our expectations, and I know he feels the same way, too.”

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