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If you thought that new Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel would start from scratch at quarterback, well, think again.
On his way to Miami Tuesday, a snippet of McDaniel’s phone conversation with Tua Tagovailoa was posted on the team’s Twitter account. Based on McDaniel’s remarks, it appears the 2020 first round pick will get a third season to prove himself.
“We’re going to have an extensive professional relationship, my man,” McDaniel said. “One thing I know about you is you have the ambition to be great. My job is to coach you, to get all that greatness out of you. And it’s going to be fun, man. It’s going to be work, but I know you’re not afraid of that.
“So this is an awesome day for me, and I’m damn sure going to make sure that when you look back on this day, you’re going to be like, ‘Damn, that was one of the best days of my career,’ too. OK? But I’ll earn that from you. You got me?”
McDaniel then relayed over Tagovailoa’s response, in which the quarterback said he was excited to get to work.
“Since you can’t hear him, he’s telling me how excited he is and that there’s no other coach he’d rather play for in the entire world, which I thought was nice since that’s the first time I’ve really talked to him. … It is an unbelievable opportunity for me that I do not plan on wasting in the slightest,” McDaniel said. “I can promise you that. I’m all in. You’re going to get the best out of me that you can possibly get.”
Opinion on Tagovailoa is split, as the Alabama product has struggled to stay healthy through two seasons. Tagovailoa has started just 21-of-33 games during his career. Miami, however, has proven to be a better team with him on the field. The Dolphins are 13-8 when Tagovailoa starts, winning 8-of-9 to end the 2021 season.
Tagovailoa threw for 2,653 yards, 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions on 67.8% passing last season. McDaniel, who served as the 49ers run game coordinator from 2017-20, will not only look to improve Miami’s 30th ranked rushing offense, but turn Tagovailoa into a franchise quarterback.
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