Read the full transcript from Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's press conference on September 24, 2023.
Q. I feel like at Alabama you were probably part of a lot of lopsided victories. Does this compare to anything that you've seen or been a part of?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: No, this isn't compared to anything that I've seen or been a part of. Just talks about the resilience of our team, although we were up going into halftime, I'm very proud of the guys and the way they continued to play. No one took their foot off the gas. Everyone continued to play. That's the result that we got.
Q. Just what were you feeling as you completed your first 17 passes today?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: I wasn't feeling anything. I was just trying to find the open guy and just go through my progressions.
Q. You tend to do a lot of things with deceiving defenders with your eyes. When you passed the shovel pass twice to RB De'Von Achane, how seeing was that, and did you get a little showtime feeling?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: I mean, for our guys that have been practicing with us, our defense and whatnot, like me no-looking defenders and moving guys with my eyes, it's not something that's new for them to see. I mean, it was cool that we were able to do that and we were able to score, but that's what we said we wanted to do when we installed the play.
Q. Obviously the classy thing to do was to kneel down and not kick the field goal, but was there any enticement to try to set the NFL record which you guys would have had if you had kicked the field goal?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: No, no. I think in this league and around the league, it's about respect in the NFL. As we went out there, I feel like that's what we got. We got respect, and we're not trying to go out there and humiliate teams. That's just what it happened to look like. Trying to run the ball, trying to kill some time, big plays opened up and that's what it looked like.
Q. Can you speak to the fact, it's pretty clear after three weeks in the season, and I can hear the pundits pretty much declaring the Dolphins the best offense in the league, at least through three weeks. Can you talk about the pride that you take in that as a quarterback, the pride you take in that?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: I take a lot of pride in how we perform and how we do things offensively. I think it's like anything else. If it's a week one deal, you're either Super Bowl contenders or you're the worst team in the league. I try not to pay attention to any of that, try to talk that kind of mindset into our guys offensively to put your head down — whatever you've been doing with your studying, just continue to do that and stay on that course. When we go, our team goes.
Q. If I had told you before the game you're going to get 700 yards and 10 touchdowns, what would you have said?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: Yeah, I'd have been like, all right, cool. But we've still got to go out and play. I would have been like, oh, cool. That's nice of you to say that to us.
Q. When guys are running open as they were at times today, you're being protected, where do you think Head Coach Mike McDaniel is as a play caller right now and a game planner? Is this the top level you've seen him since you've been here?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: Yeah, I think this is some of the best that Mike (McDaniel) has done. It's not necessarily the play call as much as how fast Mike gets the play in and how we can operate with our motions, our pre-snap deals, get guys in the right positions, and I think he's done a really, really good job. That's something that we've wanted to work on this offseason, and it's paying dividends for us.
Q. Raheem said that you guys worked on the conga line celebration on Friday. Were you pleased with how the preparation translated into —
TUA TAGOVAILOA: I don't know, I didn't see everyone behind me. I was just looking in the front, so I was like, all right, just go and hopefully there's guys — there's more than five guys following. I don't know. (laughter)
Q. Getting the play in early, that was a thing last year at times. How do you work on that, and what does it mean to you when you get the play in earlier rather than later?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: Yeah, so in practice, I mean, we all know that 15 seconds cuts out for the quarterbacks and play callers. In practice, we run plays and we try to get our personnel in. We call our personnel while I'm getting ready for Mike (McDaniel) to tell me what number it is, and we operate in that sense. It's a little more challenging when you're the head coach because Mike has to talk to guys, guys want to talk to him while he's calling the plays for us, so it was also a challenge for him. But yeah, we try to see, all right, how much time do we have left of the period if we start out with eight minutes, like how much time do we have left? Two minutes and we finished our plays. That's good operation from play caller to the quarterback, quarterback to the huddle.
Q. Have you had a right-handed touchdown pass either in the NFL or Bama that you recall?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: I don't think so. I don't think so.
Q. You were pretty clean today at zero rushes. Was there an effort to stay away from the run for you and avoiding any hits?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: I would say with what we had installed this week with our plays, our plays allow me to be able to find the open read quick and distribute the ball. It throws off the timing of the rushers, and it also helps our guys up front. But like that's just also a tremendous effort from our guys up front, being sacked really only once in three games, and everyone has been saying we need this on our o-line, we need that on our o-line, we need better this, we need better that. That's just a big middle finger to everyone that's been saying that for our o-line. I think they've done a tremendous job, and Mike has helped with that, but you can't discredit the work that they've put in this offseason.
Q. You mentioned the no-look shovel pass before, but had you done that before in a game —
TUA TAGOVAILOA: I've never done that before in a game. I've done no-look passes before in a game, though.
Q. Where did that come from? It looked like a basketball play?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: That's just the play that they put in and when I did it in practice, everyone thought, oh, that was super cool, especially with the helmet cam you can watch it again, and they're like, you've got to do that in a game. I'm like, all right. So we did it.
Q. You played with Jerry Jeudy in college and you were often compared to Russell Wilson coming up being drafted. Can you touch on speaking with them pregame and just seeing them again?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: Yeah, I talked to Russ (Wilson), he did his pregame deal, I did my pregame deal before the game started. Talked to him, said what's up, had a little conversation. That was basically it. Just wished them well, best of luck, hope that he can stay healthy, all of that, and then after the game it was basically the same. It was really cool to see Jerry Jeudy, Pat Surtain, a couple of the guys that I've been able to play with at Alabama. They're doing all they can over there on that side of the ball to help their team win games. I'm proud of how far they've come, and it's really cool to see ex-teammates in college performing and being able to go out and play against each other.
Q. To put up 70 points, 10 touchdowns without Jaylen Waddle, this offense seems like the sky's the limit.
TUA TAGOVAILOA: Yeah, I mean, we always have the next-guy mentality going, but when we do have Jaylen Waddle, it does present a lot more challenges for defenses. But needless to say, we've got our run game going. We had our deal with our pass game, our action game. I'm very proud of the guys and the way they came out.