Dolphins To Start Tua Tagovailoa

It’s Tua time. The Dolphins will start rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa ahead of Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 8 against the Rams, per a club announcement. 

The Dolphins brought Tagovailoa in against the Jets on Sunday, giving him some reps heading into their bye week. At 3-3, this wasn’t necessarily a slam-dunk decision by the team. Fitzpatrick has them in playoff contention, but they’re also looking ahead to the future, which figures to be led by the Alabama star.

The Dolphins tapped Tagovailoa with the No. 5 overall pick, despite concerns over his surgically-repaired hip and other injuries. Even though his 2019 season was wiped out, many say that he has the greatest upside of any QB from the 2020 class. Tagovailoa easily could have been the No. 1 overall pick, if not for his career-threatening injury and Joe Burrow’s absolutely absurd final season at LSU. As a fully healthy sophomore in 2018, Tagovailoa dazzled as he threw for almost 4,000 yards and 43 touchdowns with only six interceptions. In that year, he was the runner-up for the Heisman trophy behind Kyler Murray, the eventual No. 1 overall pick.

Now, he’s totally healthy, and he’ll be in total command of the Dolphins’ offense moving forward.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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29 comments on “Dolphins To Start Tua Tagovailoa

  1. mattblaze13

    Why break this news 2 weeks early? Let the Rams plan for Fitzmagic then get caught with their tails between their legs.

  2. Lefty_Orioles_Fan

    Not sure if I dig this decision

    Fitzpatrick and Dolphins are playing good ball, so why mess that up?

    Plus this is a weird season with Covid, a lot of players have been getting hurt because of no pre season and the Dolphins want to throw a talented, but injury prone prospect into the deep end of the pool in this kind of season?


    • Oooof

      Is it fair to call him injury prone or did he have one serious injury? It’s unfair to say definitively that players are getting hurt because of no preseason. Plenty of players have skipped preseasons and been fine, plenty of players have been hurt in preseason. In this case, he’s had several weeks of season to treat like preseason. Maybe their in-house scouting says he looks good and seems ready, and they think the best way to work him in is when they can give him two weeks of reps with the starters? They’re playing some good ball, but it’s not like they’re going to contend in 2020. More important to serve the long-term build as best they can.

      • phenomenalajs

        They actually could contend for the division title. The Bills showed their weaknesses yesterday, granted they were against a top team, and the Pats are struggling. The post-draft, preseason Jets (i.e., before Jamal Adams trade, before CJ Mosley opt-out, and before injuries) could have had a chance in this division. The matchup with NFC West works against this division.

        • Oooof

          I don’t believe the Dolphins could really contend. Losing to the Chiefs isn’t really a sign of weakness, as you point out. The Dolphins have looked a lot better this year and are definitely headed in the right direction, but it’s not like they’ve beaten anyone good this year, unless you’re counting a 49ers team that was missing several key players and got the Mr. Hyde version of Jimmy G.

          Also, I don’t know which Jets team you’re looking at, but you’re being far too kind. Even in a world without the Adams trade, opt-outs, or injuries, that’s a markedly worse team than Buffalo.

    • You do it because the Dolphins are playing good ball, from an entire team perspective. Tua’s the future and this is an optimal time to set him up for long term success.

      Inserting him into the lineup when the team is down is setting him up for failure because the media and the public will expect him to turn an entire team’s fortunes around.

    • wagner13

      Fitzpatrick is very hit or miss. With the exception of the 49ers, his good game have been against incompetent defenses such as the Jets and Jaguars. He struggled mightily against New England and even Seattle.

      Miami could sneak in as a surprise postseason team, but are they really going anywhere? I believe Flores took a long look at the roster and deemed Tua’s supporting cast capable enough to allow him to develop without getting killed. In essence, they did not want a repeat of Rosen with the Cardinals. However, the offensive line is no longer the issue it once was. Besides, deciding during the bye week gives Tua plenty of time to prepare

    • Oooof

      Complete nonsense. Pat White had like a third more rushing attempts than completed passes in college. He only completed 33 more passes in his collegiate career in 16 more games. He had a drastically worse TD/INT ratio and a markedly worse completion percentage despite playing weaker competition. There’s a reason he’s a running backs coach now. He has nothing in common with Tua except having been drafted by the Dolphins.

        • Oooof

          So they’re both 6 feet and throw lefty. Their arms, speed, playing style, or production aren’t similar.

  3. rxbrgr

    Does Fitzpatrick have any trade value? If Tua’s the guy and playoffs aren’t the goal, the clock’s ticking…

    • Oooof

      Having Fitzpatrick in the QB room with Tua and as insurance in case Tua falters or gets hurt is worth more than whatever late round pick they could get for him. They truly have no one else.

      • UGA_Steve

        If you really watched him play in college it is a fair statement. Yes, he beat Georgia on a trick play, but the reality is this ..

        Alabama QB’s put up great stats because they consistently have ridiculous talent all around them. They have NFL quality RB’s two-three deep most years, and same with WR’s. I would be willing to bet that most seasons their backup OL’s are NFL caliber as well and just waiting for their call. How many of those hyped QB’s ever end up doing anything in the NFL?

        Tua is like Michael Vick in his passing game. He doesn’t trust timing throws or know how to ‘throw’ a receiver open. He waits on WR’s to get 3-4 yards of separation before throwing the ball. Alabama was so talented that even in the SEC, he could afford to do that. That will not be the case in the NFL. Worse yet, Tua isn’t dangerous on the ground at all. Many people think so, but he really is just a passer.

        Could he learn all of these things? Possibly, but most don’t. Same with Ohio State QB’s. They continually fail in the NFL once they don’t have game changing OL’s giving them five seconds to pass and WR’s open by ten yards running all over the field.

        Tua was nothing special against defenses that came close to matching Alabama’s offensive talent. So I would not bet on him being anywhere near as good as Miami fans hope he will be.

        • UGA_Steve

          I came back to admit I was a little harsh on this post. I should state that we have not gotten to see whether or not he can truly handle the points mentioned above.

          It’s entirely possible once he sees stout defenses on a regular basis he overcomes them and becomes what all Dolphins hope he does. He does have a good head on his shoulders and seems grounded. I wish him all the best at overcoming the stuff I posted above.

          The part about Bama and OSU QB’s remains fair though. They just don’t meet with success in the NFL.

          Haskins, Jones, Miller, Pryor, Smith, Krenzel .. Shula, Barker, McElroy, McCarron. Just to name the more highly touted ones. For whatever reason, they have all failed in the NFL, though Haskins might get another shot at some point.

  4. MileHighFan

    Odd timing. This move signifies they are treating this year as a developmental year, not a playoff contention year, yet they are only one game out.

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