Rest of 2020 is About Tua’s Development


It’s Tua time.

I was stunned when I first read coach Brian Flores was benching Ryan Fitzpatrick for Tua Tagovailoa and I had to keep checking to make sure it wasn’t fake news. I was completely caught off guard by this decision because it was two weeks ago Flores said Tagovailoa wasn’t ready to play and now he reverses course after a handful of snaps? I don’t know what changed, but as a fan, I knew this was coming at some point, I just didn’t expect it after the team won two consecutive games.

To be fair about this decision, Fitzpatrick has been playing inconsistently in the 6 games he has played thus far. On Sunday against the New York Jets, he threw 3 touchdowns in the first half, but the offense fizzled in the second half. Frankly, the Dolphins should have won by a much bigger margin than the score showed. It’s that type of inconsistency that probably led Flores to make this change. Two weeks ago after the offense settled for mostly field goals against the Seattle Seahawks, Flores was non-committal to Fitzpatrick at first as the starting quarterback and that was the first sign that we saw that the thought was there. Then Fitzpatrick played a great game against the San Francisco 49ers but came back with an uneven game against the Jets so Flores probably felt if this is what I’m going to get then I might as well see what my rookie quarterback can do.


On top of that, the Dolphins have a bye week so it makes sense to make the move now and give Tagovailoa extra time to prepare and practice with the first team. You get the feeling that the bye week being moved up helped expedite the process. The other thing is players rave about the throws and things Tagovailoa can do in practice and Flores has been big on rewarding players for working hard in practice and putting the time into their craft.

The Dolphins right now are 3-3 and there’s been talk some about the team being a dark horse to make the playoffs. I personally feel the Dolphins will be in the hunt for a while before fading. Let’s be honest about this the Dolphins have beat the god awful Jets, a bad Jacksonville Jaguars team, and a beat-up 49ers team. While the team has played well, but struggled and lost to the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, and the Seahawks. The rest of the way they will play the Bills and Patriots again as well as the defending super bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and also the Los Angeles Rams. It’s not a daunting schedule, but not one I wouldn’t bet on the Dolphins winning enough games with a rookie quarterback and the second-youngest team in the NFL to make the playoffs. If they are able to do it then great.

The rest of the year is about developing Tagovailoa and letting him learn to play. Tagovailoa is going to have his ups and downs,  but you want him to grow and get better and better each week. You also want to see if he is your franchise quarterback moving forward and you have 10 games to find out what you have. If you aren’t convinced or have any doubt, the Dolphins have 2 first-round picks next year and can get another one. I don’t think Tagovailoa is going to be a bust. I think he is going to be fine and he’s going to go through this lumps as every young quarterback does but he will get better with each snap.

This move also makes the Dolphins relevant because people want to see Tagovailoa or any young quarterback drafted high. The expectations are high for Tagovailoa and he has embraced these expectations. The last time fans were this excited about a quarterback starting was when Dan Marino fell to the Dolphins in 1983 almost 40 years ago. The irony of this is that Don Shula didn’t start Marino until the 6th game of his rookie season. Hopefully, Tagovailoa can have the same success. The rest of the Dolphins season is about him and nothing else.