Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa‘s rookie year was a mixed bag.
He and the rest of the league’s first-year players were thrown in under difficult circumstances, with no offseason program, a limited training camp, and no preseason games due to the pandemic. Once Tagovailoa was inserted into the starting lineup, on multiple occasions head coach Brian Flores replaced him with Ryan Fitzpatrick as a “relief pitcher.”
Now Fitzpatrick is in Washington and Tagovailoa is the undisputed starter entering his second season. Reporters at Miami’s Wednesday practice noticed the quarterback brought the offense together after the session and spoke to the group.
“[He was] just kind of giving his evaluation of practice, things that were done well, things that weren’t done so well, what to improve on, just the basic stuff like that,” tight end Mike Gesicki said in his Wednesday press conference. “And I think that’s the steppingstone that you’re talking about, bringing the whole offense together at the end of practice, being a leader. So just continue to build on stuff like that. So I’m happy he’s taken that role.”
Gesicki praised Tagovailoa for his growth in all areas over the offseason, including that kind of leadership.
“And then just decision-making, kind of seeing things before they happen,” Gesicki said. “And then just kind of the communication aspect of it being the quarterback out there, getting guys in the right spot. You can tell that he’s super prepared both mentally and physically. He did a great job today and just continue to build on it.”
But it’s those things like huddling up the offense that illustrates how last year’s No. 5 overall is entering this year with a different mindset.
“I think last year he was building on that,” Gesicki said. “And now, he feels comfortable. And now, it’s his show. I’m happy that he’s in that position and comfortable enough to pull the whole offense together after practice and give his evaluation. And it was just a good day.”