‘We’re trying to re-establish the culture.’ What Tua Tagovailoa said on Tyreek Hill’s podcast

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When Tua Tagovailoa heard Tyreek Hill could be traded from the Kansas City Chiefs to Miami, his range of emotions mirrored that of countless Dolphins fans: disbelief, which quickly shifted to immense joy.

“I heard about it, and I didn’t think it was real,” Tagovailoa said on the latest episode of Hill’s It Needed To Be Said podcast, which was released Thursday night.

“I already had the notion like, this guy is set in [Kansas City],” he continued. “And he has a good relationship, me assuming, he has a good relationship with all the guys there. He’s been playing there for a while already, so they all mesh well together.”

But when Tagovailoa got a call from first-year head coach Mike McDaniel and quarterbacks coach Darrell Bevell confirming the news, it sunk in.

“When I found out we got this dude,” Tagovailoa said, “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is crazy.’”

Much of the content in Hill’s first episodes has surrounded his move to Miami, his thoughts on Tagovailoa — Hill said Tagovailoa was more accurate than his former quarterback, Patrick Mahomes — and the backlash to those comments — Hill said he received death threats after his comments. Hill even introduced Tagovailoa as “the most accurate quarterback in the NFL.”

But in his latest episode, the new quarterback-receiver tandem spoke directly about Tagovailoa’s upbringing in Hawaii, playing at Alabama and their burgeoning connection.

Tagovailoa poked fun at the ongoing discourse surrounding his arm strength, joking that he’s been “underthrowing [Hill] so many times. [Hill has] people talking about how I can’t throw the deep ball.”

“Our chemistry is going to be on point, just believe that,” Hill said.

The Dolphins traded for Hill in March and gave him a four-year, $120 million extension through the 2026 season that includes $72.2 million guaranteed. The arrival of Hill, along with the signing of left tackle Terron Armstead and the hiring of McDaniel in some ways represented the influx of a new guard that those around the organization hope will lead to the Dolphins’ first postseason appearance since 2016 — and their first playoff win since 2000. At the center of it all is Tagovailoa, the polarizing third-year quarterback entering a season full of expectations.

“It means a lot playing for the Miami Dolphins,” Tagovailoa said. “At one point, the city of Miami revolved around the Dolphins, because the Dolphins were really the only professional sports team that was out here at one point. And then the Heat came in, the Panthers came in. But really that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to re-establish the culture back here in Miami.”

Tagovailoa also spoke on the main difference between playing at a major college program such as Alabama and in the NFL — “everyone on that field is so smart” — and gave insight into what his week of preparation looks like. Mondays are spent reviewing film from the previous game, Tagovailoa said. Tuesday is an off day but prep usually starts for the next game. By the time he enters the practice facility on Wednesday, Tagovailoa aims to know what defensive fronts and coverages he will see. On Thursday, there’s a focus on third down.

“There is time that you really have to invest as a quarterback playing in the NFL,” Tagovailoa said.

Hill co-signed Tagovailoa’s comments, saying there were times during organized team activities when he didn’t remember a play and Tagovailoa had to remind him what route to run. “His job is definitely tougher than mine, man,” he said.

Hill hasn’t shied away from talking up his new quarterback and he’s seeking an explosive rapport with Tagovailoa. How explosive?

“You know what they should expect?” he said. “They should expect the Dennis Rodman and the Carmen Electra connection.”

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