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Transcript | Tua Tagovailoa's Media Availability - August 1

Read the full transcript from Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's press conference ahead of the first team practice on August 1, 2023.

(Opening Statement) – "I think the team looks really good thus far. There's a lot of things that still need to be done as far as work. Special teams is looking good out there. I was going to say great but they look good. Still working to great. Good back-and-forth offense and defense."

(About 15 minutes ago, T Terron Armstead said he would whoop you. No context needed, but no he's talking about jiu-jitsu versus boxing. Your reaction?) – "I give respect to him. I give respect to the OG. That's it."

(Staying with that physicality topic. We've heard a lot about the jiu-jitsu, but that itself didn't help you bulk up this summer. I'm curious, what was your workout routine? What went into the pounds, the muscle that you put on over the offseason?) – "Just a lot of heavier weights. A lot more reps with the heavier weights, things like that. But everything that I did this offseason entailed to what would keep me on the field for the entirety of the season. We understand that freaky things can happen. It's football. It's a physical sport. Not everything that you prepare for is what you're going to get. So, I did the best that I could to get myself ready and prepped for this season as far as injuries go."

(Can you describe the difference that you've felt on the field so far with the jiu-jitsu? Coach mentioned a backflip during OTA's, stuff like that and what you foresee this doing for you in games?) – "Yeah, so let me give you context. I did not backflip. I got hit from someone in front of me. I have no idea who it was, but I sort of hit a little somersault going backwards and I flipped backwards. No backflips over here though. But I think to that, it was cool to see because now, in a weird way, it's like the quarterback room cheers when we start to do that. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing that we're doing jiu-jitsu falls. But it's hard to gauge that because that was the first time I've done it. It's hard to gauge it because these guys on the opposite side of the ball have got to stay away from the quarterback. No one can really touch me. So, the only time you can really put that to use is in a real, live situation game."

(What is an example of some of the instinct and muscle memory that jiu-jitsu training can do for you?) – "Yeah, I would say with the muscle memory thing of it, it's not to where it's something that's muscle memory yet for me. I don't think that'll be something that, you know, become muscle memory unless I do it for like a year or two years. And I think that's for anything. You're very conscious of it. It's in the back of your mind when you do end up doing it. But it's not like, 'Oh, if I'm falling this way, I know exactly how to fall right here.' Unless I'm actually thinking of doing it that way. So I've just got to continue to work on it and practice it."

(You've talked about staying healthy for the course of the season. Your helmet looks a little bit different this year. Was that designed? Did it come from what happened last year with the concussions. Was that part of it?) – "Yeah, definitely took into consideration the helmets. It was like a percentage better than the helmet that I had. Everything matters and so I'm going to play that percentage. So if you look at it last year, it wasn't anyone really hitting my head. It was really just the ground."

(Do you plan on wearing that helmet?) – "I think I'll start out with that helmet. I feel very comfortable with that helmet. The helmet feels good. So, we'll see how that goes."

(Are you one who needs preseason work? You haven't played since December. Is that something you're looking forward to or do you think maybe it's best to just wait for the regular season?) – "I think whatever work we need as an offense, whatever Mike (McDaniel) thinks we need, I'm for it. Whether I play in all the preseason games, I play in none, I play in one, it doesn't matter."

(I wanted to ask you about the back-and-forth at practice and we have seen a lot of that except for that 12-sack performance. What does that do for you guys from a corrections standpoint and from a progression standpoint?) – "I would say the way we look at it is not result-based. It's basically letting everyone finish with whatever technique they got, so regardless of if it was a sack, our defense gives us the opportunity to continue to read it out, to extend plays. It also gives the guys on the back end an opportunity to continue to play within a broken-down play or if a quarterback escapes the pocket, they're going to have to move around and maneuver how they're going to cover guys. So I wouldn't say it's necessarily result-based, although there are things that we have gotten corrected in every area whether it's a blocking scheme, a route, how the guys are running the routes, how we're looking at reading certain routes, our progressions in the plays, then where the checkdowns are, all of that. I think it's really good when we're able to look at it like that and not 'oh, I got sacked.' Next play."

(We've seen what happens when T Terron Armstead is out there before our eyes. What are some of the things that we don't see that Terron does for this offense and this offensive line?) – "He's a coach. 'T. Stead' is a coach. He's in the offensive line room. He's coaching them after practice. He's grabbing a lot of guys. He's helping them with their technique. He's in the back there coaching them, although he's not in. He does a lot. He expects a lot out of those guys up front regardless of who's in and he's just a great teammate."

(We've heard a lot about the complexity of this defense from some of the guys on defense. I know it's only six days of practice so far, but how is that work against that defense on the field and the film room kind of helped you so far?) – "Very tough. It's very tough. It's hard to distinguish what's going to happen pre-snap and post-snap. I think Vic (Fangio) does a good job with his defense and aligning guys where they need to align and making everything look the same for both run-action, pass-action and I think what I see a lot more this time, this year with the defense is there's a lot of communication. So I know everyone sees the camera that we have on our head. When we watch it, we get to see when we're motioning guys, there's a lot of communication going on in the back end and up front. It's a lot more than what I've seen the past couple years."

(For you as a quarterback, how tough is it to live to see another play? Just throw the ball away it isn't there. How tough is that because you like to extend plays?) – "It's always tough to live to see another play. It's always tough. We want to do good. We all want to have the big play. We want to get the ball completed to the right guys, the open guys. But that's tough. It's just tough. I don't know how else to explain that."

(I know you said it was a good back-and-forth throughout the first week-plus of training camp, but I saw the way you were celebrating on the RB Chris Brooks run. It seemed like you guys were really executing. Do you think this was the best day of practice for the offense so far?) – "Like I (said earlier), it's not result-based for us. It's really how can we all get each other better and we're looking at what everyone did right, what everyone did wrong at our position, and it's not just me being in there, but it's also the other guys in there, things that I can learn from them and other guys are doing the same with their positions as well."

(That was a sweet touchdown to RB Chris Brooks.) – "Yeah, that was crazy. That was awesome. He was running fast."

(You celebrated that for a minute, you were high-stepping.) – "Yeah, I was excited. That was cool. Any more questions?"

(Your chemistry with WR Tyreek Hill – have you seen a little bit of an improvement so far in training camp compared to last year? Obviously the chemistry was really good last year, too.) – "Yeah, I would say my chemistry with Tyreek (Hill), my chemistry with Jaylen (Waddle), my chemistry with everyone on the field, it's continuing to be a work in progress. You get comfortable at one point, but you've got to continue to work at it with their route depths, with where I'm expecting them to be, with where they're thinking they should be, things like that."

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