Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa doesn’t have much experience playing in bad weather. The former Alabama Crimson Tide star has also never taken a snap in the snow either. That will change on Saturday night in Orchard Park, New York, as the Fins travel to face division rival Buffalo with plenty of snow in the forecast.
In an effort to quiet the noise of having to lead a Dolphins team that traditionally hasn’t played well in inclement weather, Tagovailoa is channeling his mindset to handle whatever comes his way on Saturday night.
On Thursday the Hawaii-born star quarterback said this to reporters when asked about the possibility of ugly winter conditions up North:
“I think for me, it’s understanding that there could be many things — could be snowing, it could rain, I don’t know,” Tagovailoa said. “For me, it’s a mindset thing, really. If I’m too focused on ‘Is it too cold? Can I grab the ball,’ then I would say I’m focused on the wrong things. It’ll be hard to play that way going up there and playing against a good team.”
It’s a stark contrast in comparison to the team’s first meeting this season, which took place down in Miami. At kickoff it was 90 degrees and roughly 97-98 down on the field. The elements affected both teams, but seemed to really bother the Bills late in a 21-19 loss.
28-degrees, 15-30 mph winds, lake effect snow for Tua on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/7cfqMdRVIz
— Joe DiBiase (@SneakyJoeSports) December 14, 2022
Tua Struggled In Cold Weather Last Season:
During a late-season loss to the Titans last season, Tua was awful with a wet ball and the temperatures hovering around or just below freezing.
That experience prompted the gunslinger to come to Maryland and throw routes with his brother Taulia, who’s the starting quarterback for the Terrapins. While that may have helped a bit, the cold in Maryland is nothing like that in Buffalo.
So if Tua was hoping that helps him Saturday, that’s not really a good barometer for him to go by.
Tua Tagovailoa says playing in cold weather is a mindset. He’s trying not to think about it much like previous years.
As I noted on @nflnetwork earlier, Tua said he spent offseason time in Maryland throwing in cold with his brother. It was in 20s, snowing and felt good per Tua.
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) December 14, 2022
Dolphins Head Coach Mike McDaniel Says He Won’t Check Weather Leading Up To Game:
In an effort to block out the noise himself, first-year Fins head coach Mike McDaniel is taking the approach of not watching the weather much heading into Saturday night.
“You don’t really prepare for it besides mentally deciding whether it’s going to matter to you or not. To me, you just decide whether you’re going to let it factor in or not, and then adjust as best you can. There’s certain things that become harder when there’s moisture or it hits a certain level of frigidness. But the good news is that there’s not different atmospheres on both sidelines. We will be playing the game in the same elements.”
“That’s the objective,” he continued. “Are you gonna let the elements matter to you than your opponent does. It is the same field, the same elements, so you just decide mentally how much you’re going to let it affect you.”
Saw some scuttlebutt about the Dolphins having heaters on their sideline last night. In Los Angeles. In a partially outdoor stadium.
Being the trained journalist I am, I held a healthy level of skepticism.
— Michael Hurley (@michaelFhurley) December 12, 2022
Considering there were reports of the team having heaters on their sideline during last week’s loss to the Chargers, during an indoor game, the Dolphins could be in for a very long night in frigid and snowy Buffalo.