‘I’m sorry. I needed that’

MIAMI GARDENS — Tua Tagovailoa lowered his shoulders and his helmet and plowed right into a human wall of Pittsburgh Steelers defenders.

Twice.

For many quarterbacks, that is not beneficial. However we transfer on, brush it off as a participant simply attempting to select up additional yardage for his crew.

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For Tua, probably the most scrutinized participant within the recreation with regards to head trauma and the participant who was solely accountable for the league tightening its concussion protocols, it first makes you cringe after which surprise why.

Right here is the why:

“He instantly after the primary time (stated) ‘Coach, I am sorry. I wanted that,’ ” Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel stated Sunday after the Dolphins’ 16-10 victory over the Steelers.

“I used to be like, ‘all proper.’ “

Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa runs off the sphere after defeating the Steelers Sunday evening at Exhausting Rock Stadium.

However that does not imply McDaniel didn’t wince, just a bit, and pay shut consideration to his quarterback as he popped again onto his toes.

“He is bought that element to his recreation the place he is a competitor and he is attempting to get a primary down for his crew,” McDaniel stated. “I am by no means going to completely encourage that, in any respect. I am most likely going to advise him to slip each time.

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“When push involves shove, and the man has the ball in his arms, it should be robust to get him to fully flip it down, though I’ll attempt.”

Mentioned Tua: “I wasn’t attempting to be Superman or tremendous hero. I used to be simply wanting on the scenario … I can see the primary down. To me they had been shut calls, ‘OK possibly if I just do put my shoulder down hopefully I can get ahead progress with this.’ “

All is effectively once more for the Dolphins. Miami snapped a three-game dropping streak with the win and Tagovailoa began what he completed, which isn’t to be dismissed with this crew.

Tagovailoa did one thing no Dolphins quarterback had completed for the reason that second week of the season: He performed the complete recreation.

“He is smiling,” security Jevon Holland stated. “It was superior seeing him doing his factor.”

Tagovailoa had missed final two video games due to concussion protocol

Tagovailoa returned after lacking greater than 2 1/2 video games due to a concussion and a sequence in opposition to Buffalo after taking a tough hit late within the first half.

Contemplating time misplaced, throwing for 111 yards and a landing within the first quarter was spectacular. What got here after, not a lot.

However first the great.

Tagovailoa bought the Dolphins off to a scorching begin, scoring on their first three sequence to take a 13-0 lead.

“Not having the ability to play two video games does have an have an effect on on my efficiency in a means that I have never seen full pace reps in observe the place guys are coming to hit me,” Tagovailoa stated. “There are some issues you need to simply see whenever you play the sport, get among the appears at observe.”

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That was not misplaced on McDaniel as a result of it is not simply the in-game time missed since Tua was taken to the hospital after struggling a concussion in the course of the first half of the loss to Cincinnati on Sept. 29. It is the time missed between video games.

As a result of the damage occurred in a Thursday evening recreation and the crew by no means actually goes full pace throughout a brief week, Tagovailoa’s final full pace observe earlier than final week was Sept. 22. A full month.

“It is to his credit score,” McDaniel stated. “If he wasn’t so ready and hadn’t put himself within the place of taking part in quarterback when he was out, he would not have been capable of have any kind of success like that.”

Steelers dropped 4 of Tua’s passes

However that success early was not sustained. Tua completed 21 of 35 for 261 yards. He didn’t throw an interception however that was solely as a result of the Steelers handled the ball as if it was dipped in suntan lotion.

Pittsburgh dropped 4 passes that would simply have been intercepted.

“Miscues with ball placement, communications,” Tua stated. “Simply miscommunications on our half with that. We simply could not discover our rhythm.”

McDaniel thought Tagovailoa was getting pissed off. The Dolphins scored a landing and two area objectives earlier than the Steelers recorded a primary down. And that landing on the opening sequence was Miami’s final within the recreation. All it may handle the ultimate three quarters was a 3rd Jason Sanders area objective.

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Fortuitously for Miami, the Steelers’ seven second-half possessions ended with 5 punts and two interceptions.

“There was some stuff, notably within the second half that was getting him pissed off to a level,” McDaniel stated. “However he did all the pieces it took to win the sport.

“And that is all that issues.”

This text initially appeared on Palm Seaside Put up: Tua Tagovailoa would not shy from contact, leads Dolphins over Steelers