Tua Tagovailoa has a message for his doubters.
The Saint Louis alum and Ewa Beach native is entering his third year in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins. After his first two seasons led to no playoff appearances, questions have been raised about his ability to lead the franchise.
All the latest sports news from Hawaii’s sports station
One of the most common and recent criticisms about Tagovailoa as a pro has been his ability to throw the deep ball. In 23 career games, he’s thrown 27 touchdowns with an average of 194.2 yards per game.
Followers of Tagovailoa’s prep days remember how he broke the state passing record with 8,158 yards from 2014 to 2016 (according to Hawaii Prep World), a career mark that was eventually surpassed by Dillon Gabriel in 2018. Tagovailoa carried those prolific numbers over to the University of Alabama, where he was a national champion, two-year starter and Heisman finalist for the Crimson Tide.
In the offseason, the Dolphins acquired former Kansas City Chiefs star receiver Tyreek Hill, as well as former Dallas Cowboys receiver Cedrick Wilson Jr.
Along with the signing of former New Orleans Saints tackle and three-time Pro Bowler Terron Armstead, many feel as though Tagovailoa finally has the support he needs to take the Dolphins to the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Tagovailoa knows he’s the right person to lead Miami, and doesn’t care who disagrees.
“For me, it’s just zone that out,” Tagovailoa said of the criticism after a team practice on Thursday. “I mean, we come out to practice. Everyone else, Twitter warriors, you know, keyboard warriors, whatever you want to call them, they’re not out here practicing with us, working hard. I don’t know if you guys recorded that last (deep ball) to Tyreek. I don’t know about you, but that looked like money.”