Tua Tagovailoa’s jiu-jitsu coaches offer extremely proud message as QB continues to protect himself from injuries

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Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Tua Tagovailoa got some attention this offseason when the Miami Dolphins quarterback revealed he was using jiu-jitsu to prepare for the 2023 campaign, and his martial arts coaches seem very happy with the way he’s put his new skills to use so far.

Tagovailoa added jiu-jitsu to his regimen in order to avoid injuries, specifically ones like the scary concussions that sidelined him last season. The methods seem to have taken hold if the preseason reaction is any indication.

During the 2022 regular season, the 25-year-old missed four games and left others early due to injury yet still managed to throw for 3,548 passing yards and 25 touchdowns in his first season under head coach Mike McDaniel’s offense. Even better things are expected this season, with Miami considered a threat to win the AFC East with its high-powered offense as its calling card.

Tagovailoa’s training methods, including changes to his diet, have been met with some derision, however. ESPN analyst Ryan Clark was particularly harsh recently, mockingly saying he did not believe the former first-round pick was heeding his nutritionist’s advice and comparing his physique to that of a strip club dancer.

The quarterback’s strong response to that disdain drew some praise from his teammates and was a possible sign of increased maturity and leadership, with Clark ultimately issuing an apology. The jiu-jitsu training is thought by one master black belt to be able to save the quarterback’s career.

The specter of injury clouded Miami’s final preseason game this year, with Dolphins wide receiver Daewood Davis carted off while immobilized in the fourth quarter. The 24-year-old rookie reportedly was released from the hospital Sunday and is in the NFL’s concussion protocol.

Tagovailoa started the game and played two series, completing four of six passes for 67 yards in a 31-18 loss.

Miami will open its 2023 NFL season on Sept. 10 at the Los Angeles Chargers, which is when fans can get their first sight of Tagovailoa putting his new training to use in a game that counts.

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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.