Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's official debut for the 2022 season was deemed a success by his head coach.
Speaking to reporters after Saturday's 15-13 preseason loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, Mike McDaniel said he was "really happy" with Tagovailoa's performance.
"He's had such a good camp in his development and ownership of the offense," McDaniel added. "I was hopeful he would be the same guy on game day. And he executed. And he was in command."
Tagovailoa, along with most of Miami's starters, sat out the team's preseason opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Aug. 13.
The Dolphins held out several key players on Saturday, including Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and Terron Armstead. It's hard to make any big judgments about the team without having those players on the field, but some of the individual results were promising.
Tagovailoa was in for the first two offensive possessions. He finished 6-of-8 for 58 yards and led the team to a field goal on his final drive.
The offense did look a lot like it did in 2021 when Tagovailoa was on the field. The 24-year-old had a lot of short dropbacks and quick passes, though he did show his ability to extend plays on his second dropback by scrambling out of the pocket away from pressure and dumping the ball off to Chase Edmonds for a 17-yard gain on 3rd-and-4.
Connor Williams, who was signed by the Dolphins in the offseason, is still acclimating to playing as a center after being a guard when he was with the Dallas Cowboys from 2018-21.
As long as the Dolphins can get Williams adjusted to his new role, and the tandem of Hill and Waddle are on the field in Week 1, Tagovailoa will be in the best situation he's had to succeed since his final year at Alabama in 2019.
Miami will wrap up its preseason schedule on Aug. 27 against the Philadelphia Eagles. It will host the New England Patriots in Week 1 of the regular season on Sept. 11.