Miami Dolphins starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is coming off the best season of his career, but one of his teammates believes there’s more to come from the University of Alabama product.
“He has that it factor, and we need that,” Dolphins defensive back Brandon Jones said. “He was balling last year, and I can see it in his eyes now, that feeling of unfinished business. He’s coming back with a vengeance.”
In the 2022 campaign, Tagovailoa appeared in 13 games, completing 64.8 percent of his passes for 3,548 yards, 25 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. The Dolphins were 8-5 in his 13 starts.
One of the issues with his season is that he suffered two confirmed concussions and was forced to miss multiple games as a result. He missed the team’s most important game of the season, a first-round playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills.
Third-stringer Skylar Thompson was forced to start that game, and while he wasn’t all too bad, it was clear that the Dolphins would’ve had a better chance to win with Tagovailoa on the field.
Jones is also coming off a 2022 season in which he missed multiple games. The former third-round pick suffered a season-ending ACL injury in the team’s Week 7 home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jones finished the campaign with 49 combined tackles, three passes defended, two sacks and one forced fumble.
Miami went 9-8 last season before bowing out to the Bills in the playoffs. Expectations are a bit higher now that the team is in its second season under head coach Mike McDaniel.
Star wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who was able to form a fantastic duo with Tagovailoa last season, recently said that the potential of Miami’s offense gives him “goosebumps.”
Tagovailoa himself seems to be expecting big things from his squad this season. Miami’s first game of the regular season will come on the road on Sept. 10 against Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers.
Only time will tell if Tagovailoa is able to lead his team to a postseason spot and deep playoff run.