It was one example of Tagovailoa’s increased confidence, which head coach Mike McDaniel said he’s noticed as the offseason program has gone on over the last couple of months.
While McDaniel acknowledged Tagovailoa struggled some in Wednesday’s practice, he seemed particularly encouraged by the quarterback’s Thursday response.
“I’m really excited about the reps that Tua’s getting in this offense. I’m excited about where he’s at,” McDaniel said in his press conference. “Tua’s very, very critical of his ball placement and he’s a very accurate quarterback as a result. Yesterday, he had some throws that he demands better of himself. But like I told everybody else, today was the first day I got to really evaluate Tua because that is professional quarterback in the National Football League. You’re going to have things that you don’t execute to perfection. You’re going to have people talking about how you’re not performing. And guess what? No one cares.”
McDaniel continued by saying Tagovailoa had a lot of energy entering Thursday’s session and led the right way.
“I think his teammates have really noticed a difference in him,” McDaniel said. “He’s opening up. He’s kind of coming into his own in that regard. And he’s been unbelievably coachable. He’s let his guard down. And we’ve been able to keep his confidence high — which it should be right now for sure — while correcting him and getting his game better, which is the ultimate goal for everyone.”
McDaniel added that he’s “pumped” that Tagovailoa has gained the respect of his fellow teammates, particularly those who are new to the organization.
“You can feel it,” McDaniel said. “Players know when they’re around good players and it’s been very cool to watch him and the rest of the team really grow together.”