His Full name is “Tuanigamanuolepola Tagovailoa” try say that 10 times in a row!!! That is why it’s just Tua…
He is the 22-year-old rookie QB of the Miami Dolphins and was drafted with much hype and expectations by many of the Dolphins fans and it is truly understandable when we consider the plight of the Miami Dolphins since Dam Marino retired in 1999.
Since Marino’s retirement the Miami Dolphins had at the starting position Damon Huard, Jay Fiedler, Ray Lucas, Brian Griese, A. J. Feeley, Sage Rosenfels, Gus Frerotte, Daunte Culpepper, Joey Harrington, Cleo Lemon, Trent Green, John Beck, Chad Pennington, Chad Henne, Tyler Thigpen, Chad Henne, Matt Moore, Ryan Tannehill, Jay Cutler, Brock Osweiler, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh Rosen.
That is 22 different starters in 21 years! Tom Brady during just about the same time was the only starting QB for New England 20 years. So, to say the QB position for Miami since Marino retired has been unstable is in understatement. Not all of the past Dolphins QB’s were bust but none never rose to the level of expectations many of us long time Dolphins fans were spoiled with by Dan Marino. Now there is a younger generation that have not seen Marino play or have vague memories of the Dolphins all time greatest QB.
In comes Tua and with such great expectations by many but his early start has been somewhat of a disappointment even though he is 6-2 as a starter he really only played to expectations against the Cardinals where he was able to just about keep up with the Cardinal’s sensational QB Kyler Murry. Tua threw for 248 yards and 2 TD’s and had a QBR of 122 his best of the year. He also had a good game against the Chargers 169 yards passing and 2 TD and a QBR of 106.9 and he also did well in the loss to KC when he threw for over 300 yards and 2 TD’s and his first INT of the season.
He also has been benched in two games Denver & The Raider due to his inability to move the offense. With such a short sample there is no need to panic but Tua has not played to the level so far that many might have expected and with Burrow and Herbert balling their rookie seasons some are questioning why Miami did not select Herbert over Tua. (Classical Hindsight)
So how good will/can Tua be after looking at his short window in his rookie season?
Concerns About Tua Pre Draft
The biggest concern and reason why Tua was not the very first QB taken in the 2020 NFL draft was his injury history. How ironic that the number one QB taken in that draft Joe Burrow by Cincinnati had the season ending injury! Tua has not had any issues as far as serious injuries and his hip has held up when he had his first start and got body slammed by the Rams. So, he has survived (Knock on Wood) the 2020 season without any significant injuries.
What I see in Tua:
When I see Tua play my first instinct is to think of Russell Wilson because that is the QB I tend to identify Tua to potentially be like as he develops.
Tua has had an up and down rookie season and that is not uncommon among Rookies and considering the uniqueness of the 2020 Covid-19 season with no off-season, training camp nor preseason games it should be somewhat expected. Please spare me of comparisons of other ROOKIE QB’s taken in the 2020 NFL draft, they are not our QB! (See Back Tua)
What I love about Tua is his unwillingness to throw INT’s and that is why he has 10 TD’s and only 2 INT’s to date that is a good thing! Unfortunately, his conservativeness also hurts his game as he has one of the worst down field passing yardage completion percentage and that is not sustainable!
He needs to either be given the permission to take more shots down field or if he is not being micromanaged be told to stop being overly concerned about throwing INT’s that it inhibits his downfield game.
Today he will go into the game against Buffalo in a must win game (if they want no help to make the playoffs) without Fitzpatrick to be there on the sidelines to go through what he sees while Tua is playing. For coach Brian Flores he loses his safety net or relief pitcher as Fitzmagic is out due to Covid-19.
Hopefully today we will see Tua take some risk and throw the ball down field and give his receivers a chance to make a play on the ball.
As far as long term I see no need as some want to say for Miami to invest a high draft pick in another QB, I do however feel Miami should draft another QB anywhere from the 3rd on to be a backup and provide some competition for Tua moving forward. I see Tua becoming a top 10 QB in the next year or two and Miami needs to just get him some young weapons (WR’s & RB’s) in the upcoming free agency and draft.
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