“Do I Suck?” | Miami Dolphins Head Coach Mike McDaniel Has Repaired Tua Tagovailoa’s Broken Psyche

Mike McDaniel helped Tua Tagovailoa get confidence back
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Tua Tagovailoa is enjoying an MVP season. This is totally different than Tagovailoa’s tumultuous 2021 season under former head coach Brian Flores, whose coaching style made Tagovailoa question himself as a player.

Tua Tagovailoa Has Blossomed Under Mike McDaniel 

It was no mystery that Tagovailoa and Flores didn’t see eye to eye. Very few people expected a coaching change to make that significant a difference in how Tua plays the quarterback position. The former Alabama Crimson Tide star has led the team on winning streaks of three and five games. In fact, the Dolphins haven’t lost a game that Tua has started and finished this season, going 8-0 in those contests.

There were times last season that Tagovailoa reportedly asked himself, “Do I suck?”

That’s a huge no, but the way he was treated by Flores made him think that was the case.

Did Brian Flores Make Tua Doubt Himself? 

Flores reportedly berated Tagovailoa on numerous occasions, even telling him he should’ve taken other quarterbacks instead of him. Despite that treatment, Tagovailoa still managed to post a 15-8 record as a starter in his two seasons under Flores. Not bad considering how devoid of weaponry the Dolphins were both seasons.

Mike McDaniel Hired, Tua’s Psyche Fixed

The hiring of former Niners offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel as the team’s new head coach was a godsend for Tagovailoa. From day one, McDaniel made it a point to forge a strong bond with his QB and it’s worked. The two are joined at the hip and have a great working and off-the-field relationship.

CBS reporter Aditi Kinkhabwala said McDaniel even “put together a 700-play tape to show him how good he actually is.”

When asked about that gesture, Tagovailoa said: 

“Well, I thought it was cool. I think anyone can here attest to someone believing in them and how that changes how they see themselves but also things around them, so perspective. But it was awesome. There’s a lot of details that entail me sitting down with him and other things as well, but it’s awesome. It’s really cool.”

That type of stuff is the exact reason Tagovailoa has flourished this season, leading the league in multiple categories.

And who can forget the concern displayed by McDaniel as Tua laid on the field of Paul Brown Stadium after hitting his head on the turf, suffering a concussion? McDaniel talked about how the two sat beside each other on the plane ride home, cracking jokes and just enjoying one another.

Can Dolphins Win Super Bowl With Tua?

With wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle wreaking havoc on secondaries weekly, Tagovailoa just needs to be accurate and decisive.

If his season is any indication, he and the Fins can make a nice long playoff run and would be a matchup nightmare for any team. The rising signal-caller is currently second in MVP odds behind Kansas City Chiefs superstar Patrick Mahomes. Not bad for a guy who was considered a bust last season.