Read the full transcript from Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's press conference on October 25, 2023.
(I know when we talked to you this summer about the idea of the "Quarterback" series, you talked about your privacy. Now you'll have "Hard Knocks" coming in the building in a couple weeks. What was your reaction when you heard that?) – "That was probably my reaction. I have no control over that. That was probably not necessarily the best body language I've had in a team meeting as it was being introduced to us that we were going to be on 'Hard Knocks.'"
(Do you have concerns about the competitive aspect and how it could interfere with your ability to prepare?) – "For me I'm not going to let any of that affect how I prepare, how I talk in our meetings, with how we want to get things done and what we want to do. I'm going to be myself and I think the guys are going to do their best to be themselves as well, although it is different when there is a camera there while you're trying to do something that's very private. I'm sure that our PR team will do their best to help keep a lot of us out of trouble."
(For you, is it more this is just another obligation I'm going to have or is it you just don't like being on camera that much?) – "I'm just not a big attention guy. I understand it comes with the territory and I am able to use my platform for bigger things. But as far as me doing something silly purposefully outside of football, it's just different for me. I like to keep things private in how I do things, but this isn't just about me. This isn't something that's for me; this is something for the entire team and the entire team has to figure out how they go about that as well. So I know having conversations with some guys in the locker room that for them, it's going to be tough as well. So we're all going to work through this together."
(I know you played this team about a month and a half ago, the Patriots, what can you download from that game to maybe take? I know they a lot of three-safety to take WR Tyreek Hill out. As you game plan this week, a different corner out there, how much do you copy that game plan because of how close the games are together?) – "I think as you look at the first game, the way they played against our offense, to me they change some of what they do defensively but then they also got back into what they ran normally. So we're expecting some of that. I think the most important thing for our offense is we're really going to have to hammer down the formations, hammer down the things that we have to know and then as we go out there, we're going to have to nail it. We're going to have to execute the plays and the plan that Mike (McDaniel) has set out for us. I think the guys are excited when we're able to go out there and see things that we're not normally accustomed to seeing because that's not what we practiced against. It's more so reverting back to your training and for me, if the read doesn't tell you to throw it there, don't throw it there. Continue through your progression."
(We heard that CB Jalen Ramsey was scout team player of the week. From your perspective, what was it like going against him during apparently a prolific week of practice?) – "He had a really good week. Very impressive how he runs with our fast guys, how he transitions in and out of breaks with them. Some of them it was almost mirrored while our guys were running full speed. And for him to break down on a dime the way that they break down is very impressive. So we're hopefully getting that guy wrenched up to go into the game or hopefully we get him back sometime soon."
(We were talking in the media room that we couldn't remember the last time WR Tyreek Hill didn't practice with you. Just what was it like today not having Tyreek Hill out there in practice?) – "Yeah, it was a weird not having someone like Tyreek (Hill) out there. His leadership, his aura, but it calls for other guys to step up in his room. Jaylen (Waddle), I think Jaylen had a really good practice today. 'Ced' (Cedrick Wilson Jr.), 'Ced' had a really good practice. A lot of guys had good practices today, especially being a Wednesday. So yeah, not having someone like Tyreek is hard, but that calls for other guys to step up."
(Just a quick follow up, if I may, can you put into words the impact he has on the field on Sundays? How could you possibly, if he was at any point unable to play, make up for the loss of him?) – "Yeah, I don't think anyone can emulate what Tyreek does on the field – his speed, his cuts in and out of breaks, I don't think there's anyone that can emulate him. He's in his own league. He's one of a kind. But needless to say, I think people forget about the things that Jaylen Waddle can do, the things that he already has done for our team since his rookie year and there's a lot of other guys I think that you can't sleep on. If we couldn't have Tyreek, that would be tough, but the show goes on. You've got to continue to play. And somewhere down the line, we're going to get Tyreek back and it has to be one of those things where you never let your foot off the gas and you don't lose that rhythm as a team or as a unit."
(This team has lost only two out of the past 17 home games, so you've done really well obviously protecting the home turf. Why do you think that is and how important is that to get you where you want to be?) – "Well, I think for one, it's the fans that we have. The fans definitely make the atmosphere one to remember as far as third downs, they're really loud. And it's when the guys go out there and we're all warming up. The guys see the crowd, the guys are playing catch with the fans, we get to see our families. It's just an atmosphere that we feel comfortable in, so it's always important for us to get a dub every time we play here. But it's important for us to win any time, whether it's home, away, it doesn't matter. We want to get a win anytime we can."
(You've obviously had great success against Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick and the Pats, I think 5-0. What do you attribute that to? He's obviously a challenging head coach to be that consistently successful against. What do you attribute that to? Is there any commonality there at all that you're reaching back for?) – "I attest that to our team. It's a team win every time. That's basically all it is. It's not me, myself and the offense. The defense has got to get stops to allow those guys not to have points on the board and we've got to go down and we've got to go score. So it's a team win. It's a team loss for everything and this is no different and the respect I have for Coach Belichick and his team is high regards. High regards."
(Patriots CB J.C. Jackson they picked up a couple weeks ago. What have you seen from him now that he's been reintegrated and probably going to see a lot of him on Sunday?) – "They've got a lot of personnel groupings now that they've got J.C. (Jackson) back and they've got some other guys back as well. It'll be kind of unique to see how they match up against us with their personnel groupings. There's a lot of different things where it could look as if it were base, but it's nickel, it's a different way that they're running nickel. And they just have nuances in that where people can play multiple positions and be called a different position within their defense so it'll be unique to see what they have, but never get lost within our training. We've just got to come out and revert to that."