Tua Tagovailoa discusses his health, Jalen Hurts at Oklahoma, how Alabama plans to fix issues that resulted in loss to Clemson
Alabama is set to wrap up spring football this weekend with the 2019 edition of the A-Day Game from Tuscaloosa.
Before the Crimson Tide take the field to close out the spring, however, Tua Tagovailoa had to knock out one more media availability which just so happened to be a Friday appearance on “The Paul Finebaum Show” on the SEC Network. If you missed Tua’s appearance on the program, you can listen to it here.
The starting quarterback for the Crimson Tide was asked a number of questions by Finebaum. Here’s a transcript of everything Tagovailoa had to say during his appearance on the show.
Tua on Alabama’s spring camp:
“Been working on a lot of things that we made mistakes in, kind of a new year. So this spring, we’ve been working on peer progression reads, working on tying my eyes to my feet, a lot of little things that caught up to us last year is what we are working on.”
on his health and progression from last season:
“I would say yes, I’m fully recovered. I am satisfied with where I’m at in terms of how I’m feeling healthwise. As far as things I can work on, there’s still things I can work on and still things that need to be revamped. With Coach Sarkisian, and his staff here, I think they are doing a tremendous job helping us.”
on playing for Steve Sarkisian and the changes on Alabama’s coaching staff this offseason:
“Coach Sark makes the learning environment easy, not only for me but for the quarterbacks in the room and the offense as well. I think he’s a relationship type person, a people person. He is for what we want, he tries to do everything to help us succeed. Just having him here, we are grateful. The past coaches that I have had, Coach Dabol, Coach Locks, everyone has their own way of how they call their plays, a way they go about doing their things, it’s just what you like best. I think Coach Sark has implemented Coach Dabol had, what Coach Locksley had and implementing his taste on our offense this year.”
on handling the spotlight that came after he burst onto the scene:
“I didn’t really hear too much of all those things. The only time I probably hear it is if my teammates come up and tell me, ‘This is what this person is saying, this is what this person is saying.’ I think it’s awesome, I’m flattered that people look at me in that sense for people that have really done something. I still haven’t really done anything, you know? We won a championship when I was a freshman but it didn’t matter because we weren’t able to finish it last year, you know? The thing for me now is to continue to worry about what I can do to help our team become successful this upcoming year. We are worried now about what we can do to get better.”
on the championship game against Clemson and what went wrong:
“I think what happened was it started beginning at the second half of our season. I wouldn’t say it was the national championship, it was cumulative of things that you know, we weren’t doing right and just getting away with and it ended up catching up to us in the national championship. An example I could use is, guys not doing things the right way, our team not doing things the right way, as far as the little things. Not being able to fix the little things. Not being able to be accountable for each other, I should say.
“Everything was just good because we were winning and I think for me, it would have been best if we lost at least one game, you know? As far as the second half of the season so that we all come to the realization that the little things do matter. Coach Saban always talks about the ‘Alabama Factor’ around here where we feel as if we are entitled to things that we don’t have to work as hard for but that’s just not true. We just took that for granted because we were winning so much. We just didn’t do things right after that and it ended up catching up to us. It was cumulative of everything that we weren’t able to fix as a team.”
on if those issues been identified and corrected:
“Yeah, I think the biggest thing that we all sat down and talked about with our coaches was just the leadership of the team. If the players aren’t able to take ownership of the team, if we don’t make it our team, then it’s going to be really hard for us to play the way we want to play because there’s no accountability, no trust, no respect and without those things, you can’t become successful in anything you do.”
on if he takes ownership and has to increase his leadership this offseason:
“I definitely do but it goes not only for me but guys on the defense, as well. It goes both ways. All of us being accountable is going to be the biggest thing for us this season.”
on Jalen Hurts at Oklahoma:
“Oh man, all we can do right now is wish Jalen well, you know? But for me, before Jalen left — and I think this is so special, this just talks about his leadership. Jalen ended up telling me, ‘I see the look in your eyes after the Clemson game, after the national championship game, I had the same feeling when I lost the national championship game against Clemson, so I know you are going to come back and be better for it.’ Just words of encouragement. Jalen told me he hopes to see me in the Playoff. Hoping I’m able to lead the team to another national championship run because he wants to do the same. Hopefully, we get the opportunity to meet up.”