Read the full transcript from Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's press conference on September 10, 2023.
QB Tua Tagovailoa (transcribed by L.A. Chargers)
(On the final scoring drive) – "It was a situation where we needed to go down and we needed to score in order to give our team an opportunity to be in the lead. I think our guys did a phenomenal job of not losing their composure in the heat of the moment, especially with the plays that happened prior to us getting that thing going, like that shot down the sideline to [Dolphins WR] Tyreek [Hill]. I'm just very proud of our guys. Our defense, they only needed one stop, and that was at the end of the game. I'm very proud of them, how they went out there. They didn't let anything hinder them from continuing to press forward, continuing to play the things that they play. Like I said, I'm just really proud of it. It's always tough to come into another stadium and come out with a win. That's a tough team, and we're very glad that we got to get the win."
(On the fourth-down conversion in the third quarter) – "For me, I have to see the sticks and have to know where our guys are. [Dolphins WR] Jaylen [Waddle] was first in my read, and Jaylen sort of slipped. I believe it was a three-man rush, so I was able to maneuver the pocket and step up. As I was looking at Jaylen, it sort of brought all those guys with vision on Jaylen outside-in, and Tyreek [Hill] was streaking on the sideline one-on-one, so I just tried to throw it out there, let him run under it."
(On WR Tyreek Hill) – "You guys see what he can do for defenses, the problems that he offers – his speed, for one, his ability to catch the ball. It's like 'Man, I got to find a way to stop this guy.' He can catch the ball and he can turn a two-yard route into a 20-yard route. Things like that. What helps him is the other guy, the guy we have on the other side, Jaylen Waddle. Although Jaylen didn't get as much burn today as Tyreek [Hill], it just tells you about the competitive nature for both of them and it tells you the great teammates that both of them are. Jaylen was super excited when Tyreek caught his first touchdown on the sideline, and when Tyreek led us down there for that final drive. It's a team sport. We're very excited to have the guys that we have on our team. Like I said, it's tough, tough to come out here and get a win."
(On today's win and 'how much it means) – "They all mean a lot, it's tough to win games in the NFL. They have a lot of really good talent on their side. You come out every day preparing day in and day out, and hoping for this result, to get a win. I think there are a lot of things out there that are underrated, in terms of the things that our coaches have put out there. For instance, the ending of our second-quarter deal. We were able to kick a field goal there, but no one's necessarily looking at that, they're looking at the last touchdown, and points matter in this league. To me, that was almost all the difference in winning and losing this game."
(On his first game since Week 16 of last season) – "I was just really excited to be out there again. I don't think anything else relates to the adrenaline rush that you get when you go out there. You have the fans – even when you're warming up, you can smell the popcorn. There are just a lot of things that you just can't really emulate. Being able to go out there with the guys, it was awesome. I was very appreciative of the opportunity."
(On if he was 'surprised' by Dolphins fans in attendance) – "I really wasn't, because last year, I felt like it was sort of similar to this year. We had a lot of Dolphins fans come to last year's game. Shout out to the Fins Nation, they were probably just as loud, if not a little louder, than the Chargers home team. That could have made all the difference, as well for their communication. Shout out to Fins Nation."
(On winning a close game) – "It feels good to win any game regardless of how you win. This isn't the first time a lot of the guys on the offensive side of the ball have seen this, we were able to do that last year, the resilience and the focus that these guys needed to have today. It's the first game, you don't necessarily know what to expect from their team. I felt like they did their best and gave us their best shot. They ran almost everything that we've seen watching film. It feels really good to be able to come out with a win."
(On competing against another quarterback from the 2020 NFL Draft) – "I don't look at it as, 'Hey, I'm competing to be better than this person or that person.' My job is plain and simple, and it's to help our guys win a football game and help lead our team to where we want to go, and that's the Super Bowl. I don't look at it in that sense. I don't look at it as this guy is doing this and this guy's doing that. We're all different players. [Bengals QB] Joe [Burrow] plays different than the way I play. [Chargers QB] Justin Herbert, he plays different than the way I play. You take it for what it is. You're not playing against them, you're playing against their defense."