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Dolphins HC Mike McDaniel on QB Tua Tagovailoa's potential for next season: 'I can see a hunger in him'

The Dolphins are coming off a season full of ups and downs.

Miami may have made it all the way to Super Wild Card Weekend before losing to the Buffalo Bills, but it wasn't an easy journey. The team got bit by the injury bug, notably at the quarterback position.

With the offseason now in full swing, head coach Mike McDaniel is looking to the future, especially with young quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

The club has made some big moves on both sides of the ball, but started by picking up Tagovailoa's fifth-year option in early March, solidifying the fact that he will be there to stay for at least the next two seasons.

Tagovailoa, who started a total of 13 games during the 2022 season, threw for 3,548 yards with 25 touchdowns and only eight interceptions. But the 25-year-old suffered two concussions that required him to be placed in the protocol for five games, including the Dolphins' postseason matchup.

Considering the severity of those injuries, there was speculation on what the future would hold for him. However, McDaniel was brimming with optimism when speaking to NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero on Sunday at the Annual League Meeting, and explained how Tagovailoa has been progressing over the offseason.

"He's doing great," McDaniel said of Tagovailoa. "He's had a really good offseason with his family and training and positioning himself to feel good moving forward. He's very healthy, vibrant, and I can see a hunger in him that I'm excited to watch play out."

Miami has placed all of its confidence in Tagovailoa, and McDaniel reinforced that.

"He's a younger player and he's very honest and candid. But it also gives me a barometer," the Dolphins coach told Pelissero. "He was doing a lot, he's got a lot of room to grow, let's just say that. He did an unbelievable job being able to lead an offense in year one. That's a new language. This is his first year where he's going to have continued offense, play caller and position coach."

Not only did Miami lock in its starting quarterback, but the Fins also made a blockbuster trade for former Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey.

"This gives us an opportunity to be different. It was my first thought," McDaniel said about his first reaction to the trade. "Just going against both players at our cornerback position now, I know primarily you're throwing away from one of them to whoever is covering the other guy."

Ramsey, who helped the Rams win Super Bowl LVI, is yet another weapon in Miami's defensive arsenal, one who could arguably propel the team to an even deeper playoff run in 2023.

"I think that Jalen, adding him to any defense makes them substantially better," McDaniel told Pelissero. "But in our particular situation with our, specifically, our starting corner on the other side, you very rarely have an opportunity to put forth two guys of the same caliber like that and so that was pretty much the reaction, 'Wow, that would be awesome, (general manager) Chris (Grier), please get it done.' You know, one of those."

The Dolphins have already made some game-changing moves in the offseason and with the 2023 NFL Draft just weeks away, Miami will soon welcome even more top-tier talent to South Beach.

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