In case you thought there was anything remotely funny or askew about Tua Tagovailoa looking to the discipline of Jiu Jitsu to help him protect himself a bit more from injury, his training has already paid off.
Now as a young warrior that Tua is becoming, he fully understands that he isn't even close to being a master or anything like that and that his muscle memory response is one that he is still developing. Good on Tua for being aware enough to know that the art of jiu-jitsu isn't something that can be conquered overnight. Guys like Frank Dux took many years to get to an overpowering level and that guy won the Kumite. I mean he lied about everything but Bloodsport was still awesome.
I am pleased that even early on that some of the training that Tua has put himself through this off-season is paying off a little bit. Even he said that in these practices he isn't allowed to be touched by the defense and the real true tests will come when the bullets become real when the season actually starts.
Personally, I think the fact that Tua appears to have gained about 15+LBS of mass will help him the most when it comes to absorbing hits. All those Cuban sandwiches down in South Beach is really paying off in the best ways.
The best way Tua can protect himself besides becoming a black belt in ji-jitsu and ordering late night ̶s̶h̶a̶m̶e̶ ̶p̶i̶e̶s̶ Dominos is to get the ball out of hands quickly even when he thinks he has all day. The hit that he suffered against the Bengals was one where it looked like, and I bet Tua thought, that he all the time in the world only for him to get thrashed to the turf. Throw it out of bounds or check it down. Utilize underneath routes and check downs to the backs more often. The big plays will come naturally with this offense.
However, it will be really cool to see Tua get wrapped up by a defender only for him to wiggle out of it, backflip, and land on his feet like he's Blade. That might actually make ESPNs Top-10 plays of the day.
With a fully tattooed arm-sleeve while having the ability to land on his feet like a tiger, all Tua needs is a visor and the Miami Dolphins would have an unstoppable force on their hands. Maybe Ricky Williams can hook him up.
In all honesty, it is nice to see Tua doing everything he can to prolong his career and thus his life. Great for him and his family and good for us fans. We know how important this year is for Tua and the Dolphins, with how much talent they have. He needs to be as healthy as possible every week because this team can, in my opinion, do some incredible things this year. I'm excited to see it unfold.
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