Within the past week, the NFLPA voted unanimously to recommend skipping preseason games entirely. At the very least the preseason is expected to be shortened to just 2 games. This is likely only the beginning of discourse between the NFL and NFLPA regarding the various changes that must be made in order to adapt to playing football during a pandemic.
Obviously this year is going to present different challenges for each team, but what about the Dolphins who have a rookie QB and an overhauled roster? Brian Flores will have to tread uncharted waters in 2020.
Cam Newton vs Tua in week 1? I don’t think so. I find it hard to believe that Tua would be starting week 1 in a year without Coronavirus, so I think it’s almost completely off the table this season. The entire rebuild that has been taking place in Miami has been constructed with plans of 2021 success in mind. 2020 is simply another building block season for a team that still needs to fill some holes and see players already on the roster continue to develop. That’s why Ryan Fitzpatrick remains in the picture. Fitz is the perfect bridge QB to keep Miami competitive while giving the future franchise anchor, Tua, a year to learn the ropes. Tua is the future of the Dolphins franchise, and with his health concerns combined with unforeseen circumstances, there is little reason to hope he is starting week 1.
Rookie QB’s come into the league with more to learn and digest than any other position, and in a year like 2020 when there are limited workouts, training camps, and a shortened preseason it’s going to be a huge disadvantage for incoming rookies. It’s not just Tua, either. The Dolphins have a slew of rookies heading into the season and all of them must adjust on the fly. Coach Flores is going to have limited time and opportunity to figure out how he’s going to utilize new defensive toys such as Noah Igbinoghene, Raekwon Davis, and Brandon Jones.
Miami’s barometer for success in the upcoming season should not be based on wins or statistics, but rather the steady progression and development of key players on the roster. Mike Gesicki, DeVante Parker, Christian Wilkins, and Preston Williams are just a few names that Dolphins’ brass will be monitoring closely as we all look forward to them making continued leaps in production.
It is sure to be a strange season with many more questions still to be posed and answered. It should be kept in mind that the Dolphins’ vision is focused on 2021, so dreams of Tua throwing dimes en route to a playoff appearance may have to be kept in check until next season anyway.