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Transcript | Tua Tagovailoa's Media Availability - July 26

Read the full transcript from Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's press conference ahead of the first team practice on July 26, 2023.

(I guess first, can you take us through the tattoo? There's a lot of excitement about this.) – "It's something that falls off a piece that I had earlier this year. It's a piece that represents my first child. There's a lot of things that go on behind it, a lot of cultural significance, a lot of things that have to do with protection, guidance. Sort of things like that that we believe in the Samoan culture. So that's what it is and then we implemented this piece that I already had with this so it's almost like when you pray you take it off; it kind of has the sense of you're taking part of the tribal out of this side."

(How long does something like that take?) – "This was about three sessions. Took about two-and-a-half days. Took about two full days and then a half day. A lot of detail."

(In comparison to last year, how much more comfortable do you feel Year 2 with your head coach being out there and he described it as a foreign language last year you were learning and now Year 2?) – "It's been good. It's been really good. It's not only good for me, but it's good for a lot of the guys that have been here as well, getting comfortable with the offense, being able to understand the logic, understand why we're doing things more and not just going out there and running and trusting and hoping that this is what the expectation is from said coach to said player. So we all have the same expectation out there when we play with each other. There's still some things that we've got to clean up, but I think overall it's been a really good first day to be able to go out and compete against the guys that are going to be on both sides of the field. Tyreek (Hill) and Jaylen (Waddle) on this side and then obviously the other side everybody wants to see 'X' (Xavien Howard) and also Jalen Ramsey. So it was good to see everyone."

(Does it feel more like a continuation of last year as opposed to coming in, not knowing what to expect with Head Coach Mike McDaniel?) – "Yeah, definitely a continuation of last year. Everyone feels a lot more comfortable, like I said, and it's not something that we had to really strain this offseason to learn. We could sort of use our strain on other things such as getting together outside of the facility, throwing, working on route timing, things like that."

(When you look at the various metrics from last season, you led the league in passer rating, top 10 in a lot of key stats. Reasonably in Year 2, what can people expect from this offense after another year of what you guys did?) – "I think if God willing we all can stay healthy, I think this offense can do crazy things. I think we can be dangerous. I think we have the potential to do something really, really special for the city of Miami, to do something special for the organization, to do something special for guys on our team that don't really have that opportunity, but it's almost like we all have some sort of influence in others' lives when we play together and when we win and when we do something special, whether you're a two, a three, whether you're a practice squad player. Guys want people that win, so I would say that's the expectation, that's the hope and that's what we're looking for."

(Did you see Justin Herbert's contract? What was your reaction to a number like that?) – "Yeah. I mean, it's big. Big. First off, congrats to him and congrats to Jalen (Hurts) as well earlier on his contract. I think it's really good for the quarterback market. That's what I would say. It's really good for the quarterback market. It gets me excited, gets me going. But at the same time, they got what they deserve and I'm happy for them."

(Do you think it's best for you and the organization – for everyone – to wait and see and put the contract aside for the season and see how everything goes?) – "I think regardless of what it is, if they wanted to do it now, if they wanted to wait, whatever; I think for myself I'm always a person that wants to prove to myself that I deserve whatever I get. So for me, I feel like this is something that I need to work for. It's as plain and simple as that."

(You were named the on the list of Top 100 players this past season. Were you surprised with your placement and how cool was it?) – "No, I wasn't surprised at my placement. I got hurt. I had a good season but I never got to finish it, so I wasn't surprised at all."

(You've been in South Florida a few years now and you talked about the fans and what they expect. Do you get that sense that they're thirsting for it? How much responsibility falls on you?) – "I think South Florida is hungry. I think they're hungry for something, a championship. You've seen it when you went to the hockey game with the Panthers. You've seen it when you went to the Heat games, so these guys are more than ready and I think as players, being able to watch as fans, to see the city turn up; that's something that we're excited for and we're really hoping that we can get this group of guys ready to do that."

(One more question about the contract. Would you categorize it as ongoing talks? Have they been tabled until the season is over? Where do things stand with you?) – "I haven't talked about any contract since what I've understood with my fifth-year extension. I don't think that's a worry of mine. When things come, they'll come because you either deserved it or it's supposed to happen that way."

(You talked to Head Coach Mike McDaniel. What have you noticed about how he approaches an offseason now that you're entering your second year with him?) – "I would say Mike (McDaniel) is the same. Mike has always been the same. His approach might be a little different… (laughter) but that's his sort of mantra for the team this year, is 'different.' He's the same person. He's here at like, 2 o'clock every morning working hard trying to do everything he can to put players in the right position and whatnot."

(There's been a series – "Quarterback" – that came out. I'm curious if you've seen it and if that's anything you would have interest in doing?) – "Yeah, I have seen it. There have been talks about going on it, but I feel like right now it just isn't the right time. But even, too, because I'm a very personal guy, I felt like the series was a lot more personal. It was a lot more about their personal lives than it was more so what they did on the football field; and for me, that's not something that I like to do, especially show my kid on national television or people seeing what I do. It would just be too hard to turn off. After a loss, a loss is tough as it is. I don't know how that would go trying to talk about a loss in my car."

(Head Coach Mike McDaniel mentioned today – he always mentions opportunity cost around us and I'm sure he mentions it a lot around you guys. He mentioned it was big and where he first started thinking about it when he became sober. Is there a different part of your career where you really focused on opportunity cost so far?) – "I think for my life, everything is an opportunity. I think for you guys, as well. You guys look at everything as an opportunity as well, whether you're interviewing someone like me, whether you're interviewing someone like Tyreek (Hill) or the o-line. I feel like everything is an opportunity for us and that's what makes us who we all are, is our perspective on how we see things. So yeah, I look at all of this as an opportunity. This is an opportunity for people to see my tattoo. It's an opportunity for people to hear what I have to say about our team this year. There's a lot of things that are opportunities and we're excited to have the opportunity to go out there, practice and hopefully become the team that I know the city wants us to be."

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