Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel shuts down suggestion Tua Tagovailoa is a system quarterback

In the NFL, the quarterback usually gets the majority of the credit when his team wins and the lion’s share when a team loses. But in the case of Pro Bowl quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, things are more nuanced.

Tagovailoa is in the midst of an impressive season. Entering Week 7, the Miami Dolphins quarterback leads the league in passing yards and is tied for first in passing touchdowns. Tagovailoa began showing significant signs of improvement last season under head coach Mike McDaniel.

McDaniel spent several years coaching under San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. McDaniel implemented his offensive system perfectly in Miami, resulting in the best offense in the NFL.


Mike McDaniel looks on from the field

Mike McDaniel of the Miami Dolphins watches the third quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on September 17, 2023, in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

McDaniel’s innovative system has raised questions about whether Tagovailoa’s success this season is due in large part to the coach’s play and offensive plan.

During Wednesday’s press conference, McDaniel was asked if other quarterbacks around the league could benefit from the Dolphins’ system, and the second-year head coach gave a fiery response.


“I’m close to surpassing that podium,” McDaniel said when a reporter suggested many other quarterbacks could thrive in his system. “My answer to that would be: who cares, the F? Because it’s a team, we work together, and I know one thing: I was a coach for a long time, I didn’t see the people doing what our guys do. – to their credit, their ability and their commitment to their craft.

McDaniel added that the team is focused on collaboration.

“As a teammate, we all depend on each other. I’m not in a hurry to prove myself without these guys because they’re part of who we are. To say it’s this person or that person is miss the point. “It’s a team working together, people working together. Myself, Tyreek Hill, Tua, cool, but what if no one blocks anyone? You see what I mean ? We are all connected in this way. That’s why, I think, a lot of guys…Tua’s success in their success, Tyreek’s success, Waddle’s success, Raheem’s success, etc. »

The Dolphins lead the league in many offensive categories. McDaniel said the team’s success so far this season is the result of hard work and “incredible ability.”

Tua Tagovailoa throws a pass

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa looks to pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Florida. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

“It’s a journey we’re on together. Someone will draw the stats from it, but none of those stats are worth anything if you don’t have the full support of your players at every level, all 11 of them, and then It’s okay.’ It depends on the organization and all of those things combined. But I know this: Our players play a lot of games that I have a lot of history with, and it feels different, and it’s because of hard work and incredible ability. “

“Don’t try me on other players. I’m not trying to prove it.”

Tagovailoa will certainly need to continue playing at a high level if the Dolphins want to continue to be successful. Meanwhile, McDaniel seems to want to make sure every player on the team can be the best version of themselves.

Tua Tagovaloa passes against the Steelers

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022, in Miami Gardens, Florida. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Football has often been considered the ultimate team sport, and McDaniel seems to want the focus to remain on the team and not the individuals.

Tagovailoa faced criticism earlier this season. He threw for 466 yards and three touchdowns in a Week 1 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. But despite his strong day throwing the ball, Tagovailoa still had doubts about his ability to throw the ball down the field.


But Tagovailoa quickly shrugged off those concerns.

“I don’t care,” Tagovailoa said when asked about those who questioned whether he could throw the deep ball. “I mean, I don’t care – 466. That’s what 466 is if I can’t throw deep. Thanks.”


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