The Miami Dolphins may have won their most games in a regular season since 2008 (they’ve played 17 games in each of the last three seasons), but they’ve still yet to get over the hump and win a playoff game under head coach Mike McDaniel.
Tagovailoa is appearing in his first Pro Bowl after leading the NFL in passing yards (4,624) and playing in all 17 games for the first time in his career. His story has caught the eye of Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning, who is coaching players throughout the events.
“I had plenty of ups and downs and, you know, there’s no guarantee that just because you had a good first or second year, that means it’s gonna be good the next year,” Manning said (transcribed by Pro Football Network). “I had a bad rookie year. Kind of a good second year, good third year, kind of an off fourth year. So it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
As a rookie in 1998, Manning led the league in interceptions (28) and led the Indianapolis Colts to a dismal 3-13 record. He had another down season in his fourth year, as he threw 26 touchdowns and 23 interceptions, and the Colts finished 6-10.
The Hall of Famer believes that Miami is doing right by their quarterback.
“They did a great job [with] his offseason training and then sort of the approach from McDaniel to keep him healthy and, you know, getting the ball out on time, and it made a difference, right,” Manning said. “There’s a difference when your starting quarterback’s in there every single week, especially with a guy like him and what he and [Jaylen] Waddle and Tyreek were able to do with their timing and that offense. It’s exciting, and the future is even more exciting.”
The Dolphins have to make a lot of moves this offseason, as they’re currently $50 million over the salary cap, but they still have a ton of talented players up and down the roster who can help them achieve their goals of winning in the postseason and bringing a Lombardi Trophy back to South Florida for the first time since the 1973 season.