3 X-Factors for Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa in 2022
By Juan Vasquez
Most development of players, like Tua Tagovailoa, occurs during the off-season:
Everyone knows the famous saying “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” We all know to become a professional NFL player (for the most part) work ethic, nutrition, and talent have to be in the upper 1%.
I say for the most part because of phenomenons like Chad Johnson.
Nevertheless, by this standard, all pros are already working their tail off, but how much harder is Tagovailoa willing to work than what is expected of him? Last year it was reported that Flores was frustrated with Tagovailoa not putting in extra hours on days off from practice like Mondays and Tuesdays.
Many Dolphins fans defended Tua by comparing it to clocking to their regular office job and how they wouldn’t do extra work either, the situations are simply not comparable. Joe Shmoe at the office isn’t responsible for being the face of a multi-million dollar brand.
Some other fans pointed out that tensions in the building could have caused Tagovailoa to not be as dedicated beside the time that he is supposed to be in the building. Fair enough, but that is now behind us.
If Tagovailoa really wants to excel, the work needed to improve requires far more than just training at the facility. For a breakout year, Tagovailoa will need to implement a Kobe Bryant type of work ethic.
Training with the team during practice, training with the offense away from practice, taking the initiative to master the playbook with his WR, RB, & TEs at every opportunity possible.
Tua Tagovailoa’s trainer Nick Hicks has shown how Tagovailoa has already started to put the extra hours away from the facility in the off-season, as far as physical conditioning goes. Tagovailoa has been seen doing some football work as well with Hicks but most of the training is done with Dolphins WR Lynn Bowden.
Seeing Tagovailoa put in the extra work is great but now it’s his responsibility as a leader to get more offensive weapons together to train with him. Tagovailoa needs to put in the extra work not only with Bowden, but with Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Mike Gesicki, and Raheem Mostert as well.
They are the key pieces of the offense. Not to mention Cedrick Wilson, Preston Williams, Chase Edmonds, and the rest of the up-and-coming guys on the team.
At the end of the day, Lynn Bowden won’t be a big factor in this offense besides being a gadget weapon at times, or probably just special teams with how stacked the roster is. This is not a knock on Bowden but more so shows us just how stacked this team really is.
So it’s crucial that Tua Tagovailoa starts bringing in his main core of weapons to train with him.
Because if Tua keeps training exclusively with the WR4 or WR5 on the team then his progress will only go so far. I can’t stress it enough. Tua doesn’t only have to implement this workhorse mentality into himself, he needs to bring in the rest of his offense into it as well.
Because only a team obsessed with being the best goes out and puts in the work to be the best.