Mike McDaniel uplifts Tua Tagovailoa after Miami Dolphins season ends in tough playoff loss

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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel offered an uplifting message of support for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa following the team’s playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

McDaniel also gave a vote of confidence for Tagovailoa being the team’s quarterback going forward.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Sunday that Tagovailoa is expected to be the team’s starting quarterback next season, which makes sense given the progress he made in the 2022 season.

Tagovailoa really impressed with better protection around him, thanks to the team signing tackle Terron Armstead in the 2022 season.

The third-year signal-caller threw for 3,548 yards, 25 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 13 games during the regular season.

The addition of receiver Tyreek Hill allowed him to push the ball down field for the Dolphins, and as a result, Tagovailoa led the NFL in yards gained per pass attempt and yards gained per pass completion.

McDaniel seems to be all in on Tagovailoa leading the team into the future as the quarterback concludes his third season in the NFL.

Injuries are going to be the primary concern for the Dolphins and Tagovailoa, as the University of Alabama product suffered two confirmed concussions in the 2022 season. The first came in Week 4 against the Cincinnati Bengals, and it caused the Dolphins quarterback to miss a few games.

The second was diagnosed after the Dolphins’ Week 16 loss to the Green Bay Packers, where Tagovailoa played one of his worst games of the season, throwing three interceptions.

Head injuries are certainly a major concern, and the Dolphins made a point to not rush their quarterback back from his concussions to make sure he is able to play and live his life in the long term.

For now, Tagovailoa will focus on getting healthy in the offseason, and Dolphins fans have a lot to be excited for in the 2023 campaign.

The team finished this season with a 9-8 record in the regular season despite playing three different quarterbacks. Miami also won a must-win game in Week 18 against the New York Jets with rookie Skylar Thompson under center.

Even though the team came up short in the playoffs, it didn’t have Tagovailoa available, which could have changed the trajectory of Sunday’s game.

It’s great to see McDaniel standing behind Tagovailoa and supporting him as the team’s quarterback going forward.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.