Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had a great performance in Week 1 against the Chargers. He completed 28 of 45 passes for 466 yards, with three touchdowns and one interception. He was good enough to be named AFC Offensive Player of the Week.
On Wednesday, reporters asked Tua if he thought anyone was still saying he couldn’t throw the ball deep.
“I don’t care,” he said, laughing. “I mean I don’t care. 466 is – that’s 466. If I can’t throw deep, thanks.”
Deep, medium or short, it doesn’t matter. Tua knows how to run Miami’s offense under coach Mike McDaniel. This wasn’t an issue last year, and it’s certainly not an issue this year.
The issue is whether he can do this on a regular basis. Don’t shoot for 466 yards or something close to it, get ready and play. Can he play every game this year? If so, his numbers should be more than impressive. If so, he’ll be an MVP candidate.
But can he stay healthy? He is determined to do so. History is not on his side. He’s determined to change history this year, one week at a time.
And this is the way he needs to deal with it. One game, one series, one shot at a time. Reducing the blows he receives. Falling in a way that prevents his helmet from hitting the grass.
Against the Chargers, it was amazing. We know what he can do. We don’t know – and he doesn’t know – if he can do it 16 more times.
If he can, the dolphins will thrive. If he can, he will become one of the best players in the league. If he can, he may not have to wait until the offseason for the Dolphins to become one of the highest-paid players in football.
The next challenge comes Sunday night, against the Patriots. He will be the center of NFL attention for three hours in prime time on NBC. And if he plays like he did on Sunday, he will continue to erase every doubt anyone had about him.
Including those in his building who wanted to replace him first with Deshaun Watson and then with Tom Brady.
“Alcohol enthusiast. Twitter ninja. Tv lover. Falls down a lot. Hipster-friendly coffee geek.”