CHICAGO – A poor decision clouded an otherwise encouraging start for Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
After a quick three-and-off to open Saturday’s game against the Chicago Bears, Tagovailoa went on a heater and made eight consecutive passes over the Dolphins’ next two streaks.
While Miami and her quarterback were rolling, Tagovailoa attempted to squeeze a pass across the middle to get Adam Shaheen into the tight end with 12 minutes and 11 seconds to go in the second quarter on the first and 10 from the Bears’ 14-yard line to bring before the end zone, which has intercepted Bears Safety DeAndre Houston-Carson.
Run over. Swing (temporarily) stopped. Tagovailoa’s day is over.
After Chicago’s 20-13 win, the Dolphins’ sophomore admitted to judging the game poorly.
“You know, I think DB made a great game,” said Tagovailoa. “That wasn’t a good decision for me. When you get into the red, you have to make good, quick decisions. And it was a quick decision, but not a good decision to learn from it, to take that and add it to my arsenal and hope that I don’t make the same mistake again. “
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Dolphins trainer Brian Flores emphasized that Tagovailoa’s mistake was easy to fix.
“Obviously he had a bad decision in the red,” said Flores. “We talked about it. He knows exactly what he should have done with the ball there. It’s correctable. We talked about it as staff, it’s something that is very correctable and he will make the correction and move on to to get better.”
Fluctuation aside, Tagovailoa played with great rhythm and routinely stirred up a strong defense from the bears that challenged the dolphins’ offensive during joint training earlier in the week.
Miami defeated the Bears at halftime by 215 yards to 79 yards.
“I would say we’re getting into a good groove offensively,” said Tagovailoa. “You know I think we did a pretty good job on our third downs and also on our fourth downs. Take a try, no matter what game we get, you have to understand the basics and techniques that we were taught over the week go through and apply them. “
Tagovailoa’s best moment of the Miami pre-season loss came with a perfectly thrown deep ball against Mike Gesicki, who won 50 yards.
“It started with the line first – I think the line did a great job today,” said Tagovailoa. “They kept the bag clean, gave me plenty of time to get in the bag and make that throw. And it wasn’t just this game; there were numerous occasions in the first and second quarters that they really showed high. “
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For his part, Gesicki found that the throw was more impressive than the catch.
“To be honest, Tua did a great job all day,” said Gesicki. “Did a good job trusting his reads, stepping through his progress, playing patiently, getting your way and we have connected twice.
Critics will continue to wonder if Tagovailoa is the dolphins’ long-term answer. A mostly solid preseason game (8-of-11 for 99 yards, an interception) won’t change that.
But Tagovailoa had a lot more good moments than bad on Saturday. At least the performance of the first-round draft pick in 2020 was a small step in the right direction.
“I did everything right,” said Tagovailoa. “There are a lot of things that we have to aggressively clean up, with our communication, even more with our execution, with the games we play.
“But when I first came out in a real game-like situation, I thought it was pretty good. … We’re going to look at some of those pieces that didn’t go the way we wanted them to, and we’re going to ‘get them fixed.”