Dolphins teammate says Tua Tagovailoa will stare any problem ‘straight in the face’ and overcome it

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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Dolphins fullback Alec Ingold recently spoke very highly of his teammate in signal-caller Tua Tagovailoa.

“He’s a human being,” Ingold said of Tagovailoa. “He works his tail off — shows up every day. He’s the consummate pro. And he led the league in passing last year. And obviously there’s circumstances in the season where as teammates and skill position and — the entire offense needs to be rolling for that one person to win the MVP, right? You need a full team effort to be able to do that. For him to be in that finalist discussion, for us to be able to get to that point and not get over the hump, it’s like, ‘Okay, what now? What next? What’s the next problem?’

“And it’s, as a teammate, as somebody that is in the locker room, it’s however we can be problem solvers more often than not, right? Whatever problem that we see internally as a team that we need to go and attack and get better from, that’s what we’re gonna do. And I think you mentioned it with the injury history, Tua literally didn’t make it a big deal. He said, ‘I’m gonna go to work. I’m gonna solve this thing. I’m gonna  — I’ma be the best version I can.’ And he doesn’t miss any time last year.

“And now, whatever with his camp and the whole team, whatever problem is ahead of Tua, he’s gonna look at it. He’s gonna stare it straight in the face, and he’s gonna overcome it. And he’s just gonna go to work, put his head down and show up every day.”

Ingold has been Tagovailoa’s teammate for two seasons. Before becoming a member of the Dolphins, Ingold spent the first three seasons of his NFL career playing for the Las Vegas Raiders organization.

In 17 games and 13 starts with the Dolphins during the 2023 regular season, the 27-year-old totaled 119 receiving yards and five first downs receiving on 13 total receptions. He averaged 9.2 receiving yards per reception and 0.8 receptions per contest in his second season with the franchise.

The fullback was fortunate to play alongside one of the more effective quarterbacks in the NFL during the 2023 regular season. As Ingold alluded to, Tagovailoa tallied a league-high 4,624 passing yards for the Dolphins.

On top of that, Tagovailoa also threw for 29 touchdowns compared to 14 interceptions and averaged 272.0 passing yards per game.

The quarterback’s impressive passing numbers in his fourth NFL season helped him finish fifth in the NFL AP Comeback Player of the Year voting, behind only Joe Flacco, Damar Hamlin, Baker Mayfield and Matthew Stafford.

Tagovailoa and Ingold were valuable contributors for a Dolphins offense that averaged the second-most points of any team in the league last season at 29.2. The Dallas Cowboys finished tops in points per game with 29.9.

Miami’s high-powered offense was a big reason why the team managed to finish the regular season with an impressive 11-6 record, which was tied with the Buffalo Bills for the best record in the AFC East division. The record was also tied for the second-best of any team in the entire AFC.

But Miami’s stint in the playoff was brief, as the team fell to Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and the Kansas City Chiefs — who eventually beat Brock Purdy and the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl — back on Jan. 13.

Tagovailoa ended up with 199 passing yards, one passing touchdown and one interception in a game the Dolphins lost by a final score of 26-7.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist. He has experience covering football at the high-school and professional levels.