Tua Tagovailoa had an up and down rookie campaign. Tua showed promise as a young quarterback, but there’s a lot of room to grown.
Head coach Brian Flores remains optimistic about him. After parting ways with Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tua finally knows the starting job is his. Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins had a remarkable record, and Fitzpatrick was playing extremely well given the circumstances.
However, Miami wanted to press forward with its new signal caller, and so Tua took over the starting role, despite Fitzpatrick putting the Dolphins in playoff position. Tua and Fitzpatrick would form a weird dynamic as neither of them firmly grasped the starting role. Tua won’t have to deal with those problems anymore.
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) May 10, 2021
Brian Flores Doesn’t Believe Tua Tagovailoa Benched For Ryan Fitzpatrick During Rookie Campaign Will Impact Him
One of the biggest reasons Tua never found his groove last year was because him and Fitzpatrick were never really sure who the starting quarterback would be.
After an impressive 4-3 start, Fitzpatrick looked like he would be carrying the starting role for the remainder of the season while Tua would get some valuable mentorship.
However, in a surprising move, Brian Flores trotted out Tua Tagovailoa instead. Fitzpatrick was heartbroken at the time, and many people questioned the decision as winning teams usually don’t pull their starting quarterback midway through the season, especially not when that quarterback is playing well.
After a strong start in which Tua won his first three games, he started to struggle. Between weeks 12 and 14, Tua averaged a QBR of only 42.6 as the Dolphins went 1-2.
Thus, Tua started to get benched in the fourth quarters of game, as Ryan Fitzpatrick started to inject some of his FitzMagic into games. The most memorable of those was definitely the comeback win against the Las Vegas Raiders.
They don’t call him Fitzmagic for nothin’ 😳 @MiamiDolphins
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) December 27, 2020
However, Brian Flores is confident that Tua has moved past it and is ready to take over the reigns of this offense. He had the following to say:
“Last year’s situation is . . . we’ve talked about this numerous times. If he had started the season, we wouldn’t have pulled him. We put him in. We’re in a playoff chase. At that point [second half in game 15, at Las Vegas, when Ryan Fitzpatrick entered in relief], it’s hey, we’ve got to do whatever we’ve got to do to try to win. But no, my confidence wasn’t shaken in him.”
Miami Dolphins Enter 2021-22 Season With Strong Draft & Offseason
The Dolphins are making sure they stay committed to building around Tua for the foreseeable future. To give the Alabama product some weaponry in the passing game, the Dolphins signed deep threat Will Fuller in the offseason, and then decided to reunite Tua with one of his top targets from college in Jaylen Waddle.
To shore up the defense, Miami also addressed its biggest need in the EDGE position by bringing in Jaelan Phillips while also adding to their number 1 ranked secondary with Jevon Holland. Things are looking up for Miami.
They just won 10 games, only the third time in the last 12 seasons they’ve done that, have a good young core, and a head coach who’s committed to winning. If Tua can put it all together this year, then Miami might shock a few people and make a deep run in the playoffs.