Tua Topics: Health, Learning from the Sideline
Miami Dolphins rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa continues to attract a lot of attention before he plays his first NFL snap, and this week the topics have included his being removed from the injury report and how he spent his first game on the sideline.
Head coach Brian Flores discussed Tua's health Thursday morning and explained why he was removed from the injury report after being on it last week.
“He’s doing well," Flores said. "He’s really going into, from a rehab standpoint or just a strength training standpoint, he’s doing what everyone else is doing, so we felt like we could take him off (the injury report). He’s doing well physically and mentally and getting practice reps and trying to improve from a football standpoint from a learning and being a professional standpoint like all rookies.
"He’s learning. From a health standpoint, there was a serious injury and he’s done a great job as far as getting himself back healthy and getting himself to a point where he can practice and take a lot of reps. He’s trending in the right direction from a health standpoint.”
Interesting that Flores made it a point to make sure to include "from a health stanpoint" in that last comment. It's his way to continue tempering expectations that have been set so incredibly high by a fan base (and some in the media) desperate for a franchise player.
The level of fascination with all things Tua was evident when offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, quarterbacks coach Robby Brown and starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick both were asked this week how Tagovailoa comported himself on the sideline in his first NFL game.
We do have to say that having a veteran like Fitzpatrick is helpful for Tua in that they can discuss what's happening in the game to provide the rookie with additional knowledge that will come in handy when he does get into a game.
“I probably talked more on the bench than I normally would in between series," Fitzpatrick said. "Just talking with him, talking through what I was seeing, what they were doing, and it’s good for me. It’s good for me to walk through those things, but I especially in talking through some of those things, want him to kind of understand what I’m seeing and to be able to ask questions even if it is in a game-like setting.
"I thought we had a good back and forth, a good rapport on the sideline. He asked some really good questions. It seemed like he saw the game pretty decent from the sidelines in terms of the stuff that we were talking about and the questions he was asking. It was good. It was a good start just to build on that communication now, just being another set of eyes for me to be able to trust. I thought he did a nice job.”
Brown said, "I think was very good for him. He was very in tune. He knew the game plan well, so he was in tune to what we were doing and he knew what we were saying. There was never a time where he was like, ‘What are we talking about?’ But it is a learning process and it’s a learning process if you used to be in the box coaching and now you’re on the sidelines and trying to make those adjustments. So it’s a learning process for everybody; but I thought he was very in tune to what we were doing and in his preparation, we’ll just try to get better at that each and every week and see how much we can absorb and how much we can learn.”