Dolphins’ charitable Tagovailoa making changes to body, mechanics. What he said Thursday

Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will return for his fifth season with a slimmer build, apparently somewhat altered mechanics and his usual generosity.

Tagovailoa, on Thursday night, held his third Tua Foundation event of the offseason, after two previous events in Hawaii. One of his missions is to impact the next generation of youth, through investing in youth athletics, foster care and after school programs.

“My heart is giving,” he said before Thursday’s third-annual “Luau with Tua” at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. “You see how it makes others feel. It makes them feel happy. For me, that feeling is 10 times better than what they’re feeling.”

Tagovailoa was generally reluctant to discuss football topics until his next media session at the team’s facility. But he confirmed that he will be at the team’s offseason football activities, which begin later this month, amid ongoing contract talks.

Asked where extension talks stand, Tagovailoa said: “I’m letting my agent deal with that, talk to the team about that. Go to OTAs, show up and be the best teammate I can be.”

Though neither was discussed at his media briefing, Tagovailoa appears to be making two changes:

▪ He’s losing weight to improve his mobility and elusiveness. The Dolphins listed him at 227 pounds on the team’s web site at the end of the season; he weighed 217 a month before he was drafted in April 2020.

The team asked Tagovailoa to put on 15 pounds or so last offseason to lessen the chance of injury, and it worked in the sense that he remained healthy for a full season for the first time since high school.

But even though he remained generally adept at avoiding sacks, he became less elusive as a runner. He ran for 2.1 yards per carry, down from 3.0 each of his first three seasons.

Of his 35 rushing attempts last season, only five went for first downs.

Conversely, he ran for 13 first downs on 36 rushing attempts as a rookie, and ran for 13 first downs on 42 rushing attempts in his second season.

Tagovailoa scored six rushing touchdowns in his first two seasons and none in two years since.

Asked Thursday if he has lost weight, he said: “I don’t know. You tell me.”

▪ He’s tinkering with his mechanics.

“This will actually allow him to deliver a better ball in those instances,” his trainer, Nick Hicks, said over a photo of Tagovailoa’s throwing motion on social media this week. “The hip is the trigger. The ball will be out quicker and even on a frozen rope.”

Tagovailoa confirmed has been working with former Dolphins quarterback John Beck.

Beck and noted instructor Tom House are the key members of “3DQB,” a Huntington-Cal. based company that has trained Tom Brady, Lamar Jackson, Drew Brees and other top quarterbacks.

“I‘ve had many goals,” Tagovailoa said of his offseason, from a football perspective. “I’ve hit a couple. There are very specific things. Am I going to share it [publicly]? Probably not. I want to keep that between me and John, but I have a [non-Dolphins employed] quarterback coach; I am working with John Beck.”

Beck, Dolphins second-round pick in 2007, was 0-7 as an NFL starter (for Miami and Washington), with three touchdowns and seven interceptions, but has had success as a personal QB coach.

Tagovailoa led the NFL in passing yardage last season (4624) and threw 29 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He’s set to play on a $23.1 million fifth year option this season unless the team and his representation can agree on a lucrative longterm deal. Those talks remain ongoing.

Among Tagovailoa’s goals with his charitable foundation is to make an impact on places that have had an impact on him: South Florida, his native Hawaii and Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where he attended college.

“This definitely feels like home to me,” he said of South Florida. “This is where both of my kids were born, where we are going to raise my family, with me and Annah. This is the city that chose me to be their quarterback. I’m very grateful, honored for that.”

Tagovailoa was heartened that Dolphins teammates Jalen Ramsey and Terron Armstead attended a recent Tua Foundation event in Hawaii.

Ramsey and Armstead attending “was a big impact not just for me, but more importantly, for the kids.... With my teammates they only get to see those guys on TV. Never in a million years would those kids in Hawaii have thought someone like Jaylen or Terron would fly out all the way to Hawaii to support that camp. I was extremely grateful.”

Tagovailoa’s foundation has raised $800,000 since 2021.

“I’m very fortunate to be in the position I’m in now to use my platform to do things like this. There’s a Samoan saying..... that means the pathway to leadership is through service. For everyone here, this is their service, by giving back and not expecting anything in return.”

Tagovailoa’s foundation will have an increased involvement with Dan Marino’s charitable foundation, because of Marino’s legacy on and off the field.

“The best part of this event for me is the impact all these people here are going to make helping the foundation,” Tagovailoa said. “Inviting them to come up and dance and me being able to show off some personality and dance.”