Plenty of people don’t think that Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has what it takes to be a star in the NFL, but it seems like Peyton Manning isn’t one of them.
The Hall of Fame signal-caller recently applauded what the team did with Tagovailoa’s training last offseason and likes what he saw from the University of Alabama product this season.
“They did a great job [with] his offseason training and then sort of the approach from [Mike] McDaniel to keep him healthy and, you know, getting the ball out on time, and it made a difference, right?” Manning said.
“There’s a difference when your starting quarterback’s in there every single week, especially with a guy like him and what he and [Jaylen] Waddle and Tyreek [Hill] were able to do with their timing and that offense.
“It’s exciting, and the future is even more exciting.”
The 2023 regular season was arguably the best Tagovailoa has had so far in his four NFL seasons. He completed 69.3 percent of his passes for 4,624 yards and 29 touchdowns.
While some of his numbers regressed from last season (as seen here), the most important part might be that he appeared in all 17 games.
He’s dealt with tons of injuries throughout his career, so the fact that he appeared in all 17 regular season games for the Dolphins was a massive win.
Extension talks with the Dolphins are next, but it seems like nothing will really get in the way of a deal getting done. Tagovailoa is signed through the 2024 season at the moment due to Miami picking up the fifth-year option on his contract back in March.
For Tagovailoa to get such a strong endorsement from a legend like Manning must make Dolphins fans feel good about the future. Manning won five MVPs and two Super Bowls during his time in the league. He’s widely regarded as one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play.
Tagovailoa and Manning appear to have a solid relationship, as the former appeared on ESPN’s “ManningCast” earlier this season. The appearance saw Tagovailoa have a mini jam session that connected him with Darius Rucker.
While it’s great that Manning has confidence in Tagovailoa, some fans still want to see more from the Dolphins quarterback, especially in big games.
Against the Kansas City Chiefs in this season’s playoffs, Tagovailoa only completed 20 of his 39 passes for 199 yards, one touchdown and one interception. The Dolphins lost 26-7.
Hopefully for the Dolphins, Tagovailoa will be able to show out in those types of contests next season and beyond. Manning surely appears to think he’s capable of doing so.