The Miami Dolphins have made a commitment to Tua Tagovailoa as a starting quarterback in 2021, but not everyone on the team is happy about it.
Miami Herald Columnist Armando Salguero talked to three Dolphins players who spoke anonymously about Tagovailoa and the organization’s decision to appoint him starter for 2021, and they expressed doubts about Tagovailoa’s overall talent and his ability to become what the team needs him to be: a quarterback – foreground background.
The worries started during training camp
According to Salguero, the three players he spoke to – who have remained anonymous as they said the Dolphins’ coaches “demand” that they never reveal any concerns to the media – agree that Tagovailoa is a great teammate, but this does not automatically translate into the field. talent, and what they’ve seen this season makes them fear he doesn’t have what it takes to raise his level of play.
It started during training camp, when the three players were so “unimpressed” by Tagovailoa that “they thought he wouldn’t be ready to play in 2020”. Tagovailoa arrived at training camp eight months after hip surgery. He was allowed unrestricted training in late July, five to six weeks before the start of the season, and was not named the first week starter. It is not known if their opinion of Tagovailoa improved in the first half of the season. .
All three were taken “totally off guard” when quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was benched ahead of Week 8 and Tagovailoa was made a starter for the remainder of the season. Several told Salguero they were frustrated when told Fitzpatrick was unavailable for their vital Week 17 game against the Buffalo Bills. A win would have allowed the Dolphins to advance to the playoffs, and at least one player thought Fitzpatrick should have started this game (a 56-26 loss) instead of Tagovailoa.
“We always think of the next man no matter what,” said the player. “But I saw Tua as the next man because Fitz was better.”
Doubts about Tua’s future
The 2020 season was Tagovailoa’s first as a pro, and he has a grand total of nine starts to his name. Its future is not written at all. But a player told Salguero that he’s not sure Tagovailoa has the ability to improve to the level he needs to be to make the Dolphins a playoff team. From the Herald:
“… the players also say they don’t see a particular trait in Tagovailoa’s skill beyond his precision.”
A defensive player said he was unimpressed with Tagovailoa’s ball speed or arm strength or his ability to make off-schedule plays with his legs. He therefore ultimately wonders if Tagovailoa will one day be able to match the exploits of other AFC quarterbacks such as Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson.
“These are the boys we have to beat, aren’t they?” Said this player. “It looks like it’s going to be a big challenge right now. “
Salguero’s story only cites three players and says it’s unclear if other teammates feel the same. And it’s possible that Tagovailoa will make big strides in 2021 and prove those players wrong. Until he does, questions about his future and general abilities will not go away.
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