Read the full transcript from Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's press conference on October 8, 2023.
Q. Obviously it's important to take care of business especially at home, but you guys had I think it was 10 yards per play offensively today; what did you have going right for you?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: I think a lot of things were going right for us. If we just stuck with our plan and we stuck with our rules for each play, I think things were going really smooth. There were just times where we were misaligned, things didn't play within the structure of our offense and things just got out of hand with some plays. But outside of that, I would say that's how the game went.
Q. Would you touch on the resolve following the pick six, scoring right before the half and then the big touchdown coming back after halftime.
TUA TAGOVAILOA: Yeah, things happen. Obviously poor decision on my part when we already have points given the time that's also on the clock. Two-minute drive, you either want to end the ball with points or you just want to end the half with the ball. That was a poor decision on my part. But it's football. You're going to make mistakes. It's really how you come back and how you continue to play. That's really how I took that. That's really how our guys took that, as well.
Q. You're completing more than 80 percent of your passes on your first drive this year. How comfortable have you been with the plan going into each game?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: I'm very comfortable, regardless of what Mike (McDaniel) has, whether it's on-script, off-script of plays that we like or plays that are, okay, we're calling this play. I didn't really like this play throughout the week, but play callers sort of – put myself in the play caller's mind frame – and as I go out there, that's really how it ends up happening with how I see the field.
Q. No team has gained more yards through the first five games than the Dolphins. You broke the record today. You scored 31, 500 yards despite three turnovers. How do you view that dynamic, the fact that you were able to have that performance despite not playing a clean game?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: Yeah, I think that says a lot about the guys that we have on both sides of the ball. In order for us to do that offensively, we've got to get the ball back, and in order for us to be able to do that, we've really got to all play together. In order for me to pass the ball, the guys got to block, and in order for the runners to run the ball, our guys got to block. I think they've done a tremendous job up front today and turnovers happen regardless of what the game is, and I don't think any of the guys blinked. There was no swing of emotion. I felt throughout the locker room and throughout the guys when we would come to the sideline, it was just, hey, we've got your back, we've got your back, and we're going to go and continue to play.
Q. Obviously late in the week the team traded for WR Chase Claypool. I know he wasn't playing today, but on the sideline did you get to have any sort of interactions with him? What was he like there?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: Yeah, I didn't have much interaction. Chase (Claypool) did say good luck out there, and I told him thank you. But I got to say what's up to him at the team hotel last night, got to chop it up a little bit and things like that. But it's an ever-growing thing with why things happen to certain people. The media has a way of how they portray certain individuals. I think this is an opportunity for guys in our locker room to see who he is and for him to express himself to the guys in the locker room. We're going to base our opinions and things about Chase or any other person that we end up acquiring off of really our own opinions.
Q. There's an ongoing feud between who's the fastest Dolphin. I'm sure you're quite aware of it. Today WR Tyreek Hill actually got to the No. 1 spot. He's at 22 now. He's at 22 miles per hour. Obviously RB De'Von Achane had another nice run, elevated himself, as well. You guys have seven of the fastest times this season. How much does that help you offensively?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: That helps us a lot. That helps us a lot. It's a big play and it's more. It's not where you reach the second level and okay, he's probably going to get tackled. You're really thinking, once you see it one time, it's hard for you to un-see it. When those guys get the ball in space, you're really thinking they're going to go and score with that. That's what that is.
Q. How much do they talk about the times and the speeds and the miles per hour?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: I would say for those guys, it's weird because fast guys don't really – they don't necessarily talk about how fast they are; they're just fast. But then when you bring it up in conversation, then that'll get those guys boiled up.
Q. You touched on this earlier, after both interceptions you came back and you scored a field goal and then a touchdown after the half and then a touchdown. When you go back out after that, after making a mistake, is there a little bit of a different mindset to make sure it's something that you kind of atone for, I guess?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: Yeah, I would say when I came into the league, it was a lot different when I would throw an interception, the mindset I'd have. I'd throw an interception, and I'd feel the need to press and think that I need to make a play for our guys. Really that's not how I sort of take it into games, and that's really how I do it in practice, as well. If I throw an interception in practice, those are game reps that I can use. So if it does end up happening in a game, I know how to move forward from that. It happens, and then it's move on, and then what does this play entail for you to do to get your job done for all these guys.
Q. Can you kind of take us through what you did see on that second interception there?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: Yeah. It was just poor ball placement, really tips and overthrows when it's in between the hashes, inside the numbers, those are – you're really asking for trouble. So that was just a poor decision, poor ball on my part and I've just got to be better.
Q. Did your arm get hit on that? It looked like you somehow got short-armed on the throw.
TUA TAGOVAILOA: No, no.
Q. The touchdown pass to Tyreek, it looked like single-high, man-to-man, looked like a beater right away. Is that something you recognize as soon as you see the look?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: Did it look like single-high like from the beginning of it? It did?
Q. Single-high and then two other safeties below. I don't really know what to make of it. You're the pro, not me.
TUA TAGOVAILOA: Well, that was the wrong play call. That was the wrong play call, and you can ask Mike (McDaniel) about that. I don't think I should be saying that was the wrong play call. I called the wrong play. I called my own play. You guys might want to ask Mike about that one, but it was the wrong play call.
Q. You called your own play on a touchdown play?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: Yeah, I guess. I don't know how – that sounds weird just taking the credit for that one.
Q. Was it a check?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: No, he said a play, and I told him I misheard him as I was looking at it. I was like, let's just run this play.
Q. Did you mishear him or you just went on to what you wanted?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: I did mishear him.
Q. That's the official version?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: Yes. I misheard him. (laughter)
Q. On the first touchdown of the game to WR Jaylen Waddle, how important was it to get him back involved in the swing of things, too?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: Oh, it's always important to get someone like that involved in the swing of things. We wanted to get him more involved in a couple other games. Just so happens the coverage didn't allow for us to give Waddle the ball. But I'm really happy that we were able to distribute the ball to more than just one guy and get guys open. But I was really happy for him. I think everyone was excited or waiting to see Waddle. I was hoping he was going to do it right away, but everyone came and celebrated with him.
Q. Another very solid performance by RB De'Von Achane. Can you talk a bit about his exponential growth these past few games and his utilization in the play calling?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: I think the coolest thing about someone like him being a rookie is just who he is as a person, how you see him on the sideline, just chill, relaxed, that's who he is, and that's how he is in the huddle. To be able to go in the huddle and see someone like that, it's very promising to know that, okay, he's going to line up – he knows where he's going to line up, and then basically if he's getting the ball, you know it's going to be a big play more often than not. I've got a lot of respect for that guy, and I think a lot of guys around the league have a lot of respect for him, as well, but the cool thing about it is like he doesn't take heed to listening to any of that. Just a humble guy, just coming into work, doing what he needs to help the team win. I'm very proud of him and very proud of basically all the guys.