McDaniel Talk Tua Participation, Weight Loss

The Miami Dolphins head coach had a press conference before an OTA
Mar 25, 2024; Orlando, FL, USA;  Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel talks to media during the
Mar 25, 2024; Orlando, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel talks to media during the / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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Tua Tagovailoa's participation in voluntary workouts while he waits for a contract extension has the media looking for answers.

Before the Miami Dolphins OTA on Tuesday, head coach Mike McDaniel conducted a press conference and the first questions where about his quarterback, specifically the reports of Tagovailoa missing most of the voluntary offseason program.

"The good news about 'all' is it's very black and white," McDaniel said. "He has been here for offseason activities. He has not been here for offseason activities. He has been both. I think, you know, [what is] important in the player-coach relationship is communication. I think however things play out, as long as we're communicating, and we're on our P's and Q's on what we need to get accomplished, then we have a fighting chance and it's been a good exercise in our relationship this offseason."

When he was asked if Tagovailoa's absence was contract-related, McDaniels was clear that he was not going to speak on the situation.

"I don't make it a habit of speaking for other people's mouths," McDaniels said. "I don't want any of that burden in my life ... This is what's great about the orchestration of our organization, I think it's important that the player-coach relationship is put on a pedestal where you don't tinker with that. My job is to get him better, his job is to communicate with me [on] how I'm doing in that process, and think we're in a safe zone where when he's talking to me about my expertise and not about stuff that is not my expertise. So we try to stay true to that and that's paid us dividends this offseason."

Tagovailoa was among the Dolphins not participating in the OTA on Tuesday; he was participating in a charity golf event for his college head coach, Nick Saban.

On a Lighter Note...

The latest Tagovailoa news has not all been about possibly contentious contract negotiations.

The fifth-year signal caller was reportedly "10 or 15 pounds" lighter when he arrived to South Florida for the offseason program. McDaniels said the weight loss was just another way for Tagovailoa's game to take another step. The coach referred to Tagovailoa as "svelte."

"That was a big year this past season," McDaniel said. "For Tua being able to play the entirety of it at the professional level, as well as, you know, two years in a row with the same offensive play-caller. And in that process, you get to find out on your own exactly where there's different areas where you can improve your game. That something that, you know, we directly relate [on], him and I, in terms of looking for competitive advantages. So I think he identified [mobility] as one for himself ... the results speak for themselves."

The weight loss could be beneficial to Tagovailoa's escape ability and buying more time when extending plays.

Michael France