Read the full transcript from Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's press conference on November 19, 2023.
Q. Who gets most of the credit for maintaining the run game – RB Raheem Mostert, offensive line? Who gets the credit there?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: The entire offense gets the credit. Needless to say, our defense was able to will us through that game and help us win that game. We need to be better in the second half offensively, and it starts with me. As we came out, can't turn the ball over the way I did, and that's what it was. State of the union was that, and we can be a better team. We can be a better offense for our team when I stop turning the ball over and doing things like that.
Q. All the metrics offensively have been great this year except short yardage. How do you clean that up and execute that stuff on the third and fourth-and-shorts?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: Yeah, it takes a lot. It takes all of us. With the play, with me understanding what we're trying to do with that play, if we have a read key, if we're trying to hand it off, if we're trying to pass it. We all have a job, and we just haven't been in sync, and we've just got to do a better job at that.
Q. Next week you guys have a Friday game. You probably haven't played Friday football in a while since high school. What would you tell your high school self to get to the point where you're at today?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: I would tell my high school self to be right where he is. The things that have came up in my life throughout my journey, I couldn't have foreseen them, and they've made me who I am as a person. My character has been built through all of those with what I've learned in high school, through college. So I would tell him just be where you are and just continue doing your thing. There's nothing that I could tell my high school self that would potentially get him to the NFL where I'm at. God has a way for everyone, and that was just my way.
Q. You said that when you stop turning the ball over that the offense can click there, but is there a common theme? I know one was an interception and one was a fumble, but what's the common theme right now in the fact that there were a couple turnovers today and you want to clean that up?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: Yeah, that's all it is. The common theme is miscommunication, and that's starts with me. Maybe I have to talk to the guys and express certain routes to them differently, and so it all starts with me. That's what I'm going to say. I've got to be better with that, and we'll be better for it.
Q. On top of that, did you see anything specific that defenses are doing to this offense the past couple weeks, or do you see it as more self-inflicted stuff like the turnover situation?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: I see it as more self-inflicted things that we do, turning the ball over, not being able to convert on downs that we should be converting on. But then again, these are good teams. All these teams are in the NFL. The NFL is a tough place to play football, and we'll take this win and we'll learn from this.
Q. What's it like having CB Jalen Ramsey on the other side for your team?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: It's amazing. He got the entire crowd going. But he'll be the first to tell you that all these interceptions, all the things that he's been able to do has been because of the pass rush and because of the pass lanes that they've been practicing throughout practice. Our team is a better team having him in the back there, and like I said, those guys on that side of the ball, they willed us to win today.
Q. It's been a long time since this team was 7-3. Just the significance of being atop the AFC East at 7-3?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: Well, the job is not done. There's nothing accomplished to being 7-3. But as far as our focus today, we won the game, and we're going to take that and we're going to learn from that film.
Q. Head Coach Mike McDaniel had mentioned that after you played the Chiefs game, the bye week, you were hard on yourself. It sounds like you're hard on yourself again today. How do you balance your own gratification versus giving yourself grace?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: Yeah, I have a standard for myself just like everyone in here has a standard for themselves with how they go about doing their job, and I take pride in doing my job. And for me, if I'm not doing my job to the best of my abilities and to be the best in the league doing it, I shouldn't be out there doing it. I'm sure each and every one of you here would feel the same within your profession. It's not me being super hard or me not extending grace to myself. It's just understanding, like you know you can do better. It's to a place where I'm not beating myself up as much as I probably would have my rookie year or my second year just because of the people that I've had to help me through that. So that's what I would say. I understand the state of the union, and I'm not blind to the mistakes that I've made, but it's not more so that I'm hard on myself, it's more so I know my expectation and the standard of what I can do, and it can be better, and I want it to be better. That's really what it is, it's being real with yourself.
Q. How do you feel physically today? You took a couple hits.
TUA TAGOVAILOA: Yeah, I feel good. As good as I can be with whatever week we're in, being 7-3.