Tua Tagovailoa and Tyreek Hill take aim at Ryan Clark in response to harsh comments about QB

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Tua Tagovailoa has given a very strong response to Ryan Clark after the ESPN analyst made some questionable comments about the Miami Dolphins quarterback.

“Let me tell you what he wasn’t doing: He wasn’t in the gym, I’ll bet you that,” Clark said of Tagovailoa.

Clark’s remarks, which included a reference to a strip club, drew chuckles from his ESPN cohorts, but no one from the Dolphins is laughing about it, particularly Tagovailoa, who has done extensive physical work to address a concussion history that has had a significant impact on his NFL career to date.

“He might’ve spent a lot of time in the tattoo parlor,” Clark said. “He was not at the dinner table eating what the nutritionist had advised. He looks ‘happy.’ He is thick. He’s built like the girls working at Onyx right now.”

Tagovailoa responded to Clark’s comments on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old has spent the offseason using training methods, such as a change in diet and jiu-jitsu training, that are designed to help him prevent injuries and have him look larger than he did last season. He also explained the new sleeve tattoo on his right arm, which he said represents his first child and holds a lot of Samoan cultural significance.

Though ESPN personalities are known to sometimes speak foolishly, Clark’s comments could be seen as particularly jarring as they are coming from a former NFL player. His comparison of Tagovailoa’s physique to those of strip club workers also seems to be out of line and drew a response from the quarterback’s trainer.

Star wide receiver Tyreek Hill also showed some support for his quarterback.

Tagovailoa is entering his fourth NFL season with high expectations surrounding himself and the Dolphins. Last year in his first season under head coach Mike McDaniel’s offensive system, he totaled 3,548 passing yards and 25 touchdown passes in just 13 games.

He suffered a concussion suffered in a Week 4 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals and another concussion that caused him to miss the final two regular season games plus a playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills.

His offseason preparation reportedly has him the “strongest he’s ever been,” and one master black belt said the jiu-jitsu training can “100 percent” save his playing career.

Why Clark, a 13-year NFL veteran who made his name with the Pittsburgh Steelers and last played in the 2014 season, would go at Tagovailoa in the manner he did is unknown.

Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post speculated that it could have something to do with the fact Clark went to Louisiana State University, a heated rival of Tagovailoa’s University of Alabama, but that does not seem to be a reason for such disrespect.

The Dolphins and Tagovailoa do have a lot to prove trying for back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time since the early 2000s. But they now have some unexpected motivation to add to their preparation.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NFL for almost three decades. He has been an avid follower of the AFC East since the days of Bob Griese and is looking forward to an exciting new era in the division.