After an injury-hit 2022 season for the Miami Dolphins, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had admitted earlier this year that he’d considered retiring. He decided against it and was picked up for a new contact by the Dolphins, but NFL veteran Michael Vick has had some recent words of advice for the young Hawaiian.
Vick helped to transform the role of quarterback during his time at Atlanta Falcons and while Tagovailoa will want to avoid following his controversial and self-destructive career path, Vick believes that he has some tips to help the Dolphins star find consistency.
“I just think he’s got to bulk up a little bit. Get a little bit bigger. Get stronger. As you grow into your man body, that’s what needs to happen. Ain’t nothing wrong with picking up another 10 pounds, 15 pounds,” said Vick. “Don’t get hit. Don’t get knocked around.”
Tagovailoa’s season was badly affected by the hits he took, which resulted in multiple stints in the concussion protocol and one trip to hospital. He ended up missing five starts, including a playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills.
However, while he admitted that he had considered whether to walk away from football, his young family helped convince him that he should carry on: “I considered it for a time, having sat down with my family, having sat down with my wife and having those kind of conversations,” Tagovailoa said.
“But it would be really hard for me to walk away from this game with how old I am, with my son. I always dreamed of playing as long as I could to where my son knew exactly what he was watching, that he’s watching his dad.”
Tagovailoa’s injuries generally came from hitting the back of his head on the ground, so he’s been working hard to try and minimize the chances of that happening again. This has involved training with a jiu-jitsu coach in the off-season, which has helped him learn how to distribute his energy and weight while falling.
Of course, his well being is a major factor him and for the Dolphins, with general manager Chris Grier revealing last year that they consulted specialists and neurologists to make sure these concussions weren’t affecting his long-term health.
Tagovailoa has been reassured that he is not any more likely to sustain a concussion because of last year’s problems, which helped give him the confidence to stick with the sport and prepare for another season with the Dolphins.
While the 2022 season was a frustrating and concerning one in terms of his health, it was actually a successful one for Tagovailoa, at least in terms of statistics. He threw for a career-high in yard (3,548) and touchdowns (25), with eight interceptions, leading the league in passer rating and passing average.
He also helped Miami reach post-season with an 8-5 record in the games he played, but yet another concussion ruled him out of the Wild Card Playoff at Buffalo Bills, which the Dolphins lost 34-31. They will hope he can be around more often as their starting quarterback in the 2023 season, jiu-jitsu white belt and all.
Written and distributed by Chat T Sports.