Read the full transcript from Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's press conference on August 9, 2023.
(Obviously you never want to have mistakes on the football field. When you throw a pick or something goes wrong, how does it benefit you to have something negative that you can go back and correct?) – "I think you have a lot to correct when you have more negatives then you do positive. Obviously you want to have more positive, but it's good when you have a joint practice. For us in the quarterback room, looking at it from the outside in, we didn't have a gauge on what they were going to be running or what to expect. We had one day under our belt. And so the second day we did come out, there were things that we wanted to try. So when you do go into the game, should you try it again? Should you not try it? That's at your discretion. I think it's good because you learn so much from those things. But outside of that, you just continue to keep moving forward with it keep playing."
(How would you assess where the offense is right now?) – "Regardless of if it was the best day ever for the offense, or it was the worst day ever for the offense, we got to keep growing, we got to continue to get better. There's a lot of things we need to clean up. And I think we're doing so in all these afternoon meetings."
(There's a natural give and take with the offense whether you're playing the Falcons' defense or Miami's defense. But on the field, what's the one thing that you're trying to combat against an opposing defense in these practices?) – "I think the one thing that's really cool about joint practices is it almost simulates game-like situations where you have first down, second down, third downs. We had red (zone) downs, we have two-minute situations. I think the cool thing about it is that everyone's getting their adrenaline going. And you never know what's going to happen. You get a fight out there. The biggest thing for us is we're trying to move on to the next play and try to get back on track like as fast as possible. So not letting the last play dictate how we play the next play and how we're going to move forward as an offense for the following play. I think that's what makes these joint practices good is that it simulates game-like situations and game-like feelings before you actually go out there and compete in actual games."
(We didn't talk to you after the scrimmage, but we saw the videoboard caught you with an animated discussion with the offense. Can you tell us anything what you were telling the guys in that moment?) – "Yeah, well, it just wasn't up to our standard. There were some things that needed to be said that was the State of the Union that our offense already knew, just reiterating that. And yeah, that's just what that was."
(Are you being even more vocal this year going into your fourth season?) – "Yes, and no. I just feel like that's just me being myself, being in this offense going into Year 2. And having understood what this offense is capable of, and what we are able to do, it just wasn't up to the standard that day. So I had to bring the guys up and make sure everyone knew that."
(Head Coach Mike McDaniel talked about procedural penalties. How much can a coach do about that and how much is it up to the players?) – "Yeah, it takes all 11 of us on the field. It takes all 11 of us. It makes it tough when it's a move-the-ball period, and you're marching it down and then when you do have a big play, you try to get a cadence because of a situational deal trying to figure out what the defense is doing. Like guys are tired, and it's trying to fight the mental urge of not jumping and just locking in. There's a lot of things that go on that entail guys with procedural errors and whatnot. We got a lot of motions, we got a lot of things that are nuances in our offense. So you got to really be smart, and you really got to lock in and listen for everything, so it makes it tough."
(This offseason we've heard the amounts of training and the jiu-jitsu. I'm curious if you did anything different with your diet as well?) – "Yeah, I changed my diet up a little bit. But outside of that, it was what it was. Like I said, I've just been trying to give myself the best opportunity to hopefully not get injured."
(Head Coach Mike McDaniel hasn't said who may or may not play in the preseason opener, but if you do end up not playing in it, what are some of the things that you do entering the game or during the game to kind of stay engaged, try and make it as game-like as possible for yourself on the sideline?) – "Yeah, I think mental reps are just as important as taking the physical reps. That's what it's all about. You've got to understand the game as a coach, you've got to understand the game as a player. It's also a lot different seeing it from the sideline than it is seeing it in the game. Things are moving quicker. You can see if things are open, but you can't feel pressure. You're just basically out there gazing at what those guys have, so things can be open, but if protection allows you to throw a deep ball, a short ball; then it allows it. But for the most part, it's tough. You've just got to stay in it mentally."
(What are you seeing in QB Mike White and QB Skylar Thompson?) – "I see a lot. I've got the utmost respect for both of those guys. This is going to be the second year that Skylar is in the room with me. I know Skylar. We have a lot of animated conversations about football and then just getting to know Mike White as well. Mike White is very smart in the quarterback room. He has a lot to say as far as input as well, so it's really good to have both of them in there."
(Have you seen the wildfires in Hawaii and what are your thoughts on what's going on?) – "No, I haven't seen or heard of any of that."
(I guess in Maui overnight there was a fire. Do you have any family there?) – "I don't have any family there. I feel like I need to keep up more with everything. I find things out from my wife. My wife is on social media, but I live under a rock."
(Was that meant as motivation for you guys that there was no orange jersey today? Just no MVP of the day before. Did you use that as motivation at all?) – "I did not notice that. That's funny. I did not notice that. That's a good catch. No orange jersey today, huh? I had no idea that there was no orange jersey today. I don't know whose playlist we were listening to out there."
(Do you think that was purposeful?) – "I'm sure it was. Mike (McDaniel) probably has a plan for everything, so I don't know what that plan may be, but yeah. I don't know."
(Is there anything you notice about this Falcons defense that took you by surprise or that you learned the past two days?) – "I just got to give them credit. They look really good. They're executing defensive-wise. For the most part, I just got to give them props."
(Head Coach Mike McDaniel has mentioned a couple times just the journey of training camp and how it clicks at certain times for different guys. Obviously in your second year here, was there a time last year where you kind of felt that click happen for you?) – "I'm not too sure when I felt a click or when it was, but I was really dialed in on just trying to figure out like how the offense was run, how Mike wants the offense run, who Mike is as a play caller. I was just dialed in on all of that and not worrying much about how my play was. I just felt as if, if I go through Mike would expect us to go through progressions, go through reads, then we should be fine. Just find a completion wherever it may be and get the guys going."
(I don't know if you saw WR Jaylen Waddle went down with an injury to the midsection. Did you see that and what kind of camp has he been having this year?) – "Yeah, I did see that. I couldn't see what had happened and I know he made the play, but I think (Jaylen) Waddle has probably had one of the best camps on our team this year and it really started with OTAs from the first day he came, he showed up and he was locked in. So it's kind of unfortunate to see something like that happen. I hope that it's just a couple days or whatever and I hope he gets better, but I think Waddle has had one of the best camps in this Miami Dolphins 2023 training camp."