Is Tua the missing piece the Miami Dolphins have been looking for all of these years?

Is Tua the Missing Piece For Miami?

2017 was a phenomenal year for the Alabama Crimson Tide. They went an astounding 12-1 up to this point with QB phenom Jalen Hurts at the helm. Going into the National Championship, this was Hurts team. Then due to some ineffective play by halftime from Hurts, Head Coach Nick Saban had a decision to make… Continue to let Hurts lead this team, or turn it over to the true freshman from Ewa Beach.

Nick Saban knew what his team was missing.

They were missing that spark, that “IT” factor, that type of player that would take over the game instantly. This by no means could have been an easy decision at the time, but he knew what he had to do… he had to turn this team over to the missing piece of the puzzle…Tua Tagovailoa. Tua proved to be Nick Saban’s “missing piece” on this historic night. But Tua has something much deeper than just his on-field assassin persona. Tua has that “missing piece” that even many superstar players tend to lack… But more on that later.

Now, we all know how the rest of this Cinderella story goes from here. Tua Tagovailoa steps into the game and absolutely dominates, bringing the Crimson Tide back from a 21 point deficit and bring another National Championship to Tuscaloosa. From that moment on, he would bear the title of “superstar”. But it didn’t stop there.

Tua would go on to continue his collegiate career as one of the most prolific passers in college football. Before his 2019 collegiate campaign, he was the consensus #1 overall pick. He was playing up to that billing until his fateful injury on November 16, 2019… a dislocated hip. Some doctors compared this injury to one sustained by more of a vehicle accident injury than a football play, but nonetheless, Tua pushed on. He fought through one of the most grueling rehabs that a player could endure. With questions swirling about his future, he pushed on. With the COVID-19 pandemic holding back his draft process, he pushed on, all the way until draft night.

As I’m sure most of you know, this young man would go on to be drafted by your Miami Dolphins. With his high draft position and historic collegiate career, the pressure to perform from the National Media was quick to follow. Being able to tune out the noise from the National media, Tua and the Dolphins have navigated themselves into one of the most unique positions across the NFL landscape to this point. With the Dolphins sitting at 3-3, Brian Flores had a decision to make… Similar to Nick Saban in 2017, Coach Brian Flores of the Miami Dolphins knew what he had to do. With the cusp of the division within reach, and with the soft underbelly of the schedule lying ahead, he knew it was time to turn to the 2017 National Champion.

Now the national media questioned his decision for 2 weeks prior to the match with the LA Rams. They questioned everything, from Tua’s health to his preparedness for the game to his offensive line’s ability to protect him. Come game time, young Tagovailoa was ready to perform…

Tua’s first snap of the game was executed as well as expected, being a simple handoff for a 1 yard gain. Then comes 2nd and 9. Tua drops back, scanning the field for his playmakers when he was absolutely pummeled by Aaron Donald, former DPOY and arguably the best player in the NFL. Many people’s first impression of the game was fulfilled, with Aaron Donald wreaking havoc on the young man early on. Many people’s first impression was simply “Welcome to the NFL rookie”. Expecting nothing less from a player who hasn’t taken a live snap in almost a year.

Now, the Miami Dolphins defense and special teams ended up stealing the show during Tua’s rookie debut, leading the Dolphins to a 28-17 win over the LA Rams. But Tua getting right up after that hit from Donald and leading the team to a victory showed us that he has something deep down within him.

Fast forward to Tua’s second start against the former Heisman winner Kyler Murray and the scorching hot Arizona Cardinals for a matchup in the desert. Tua initially made some early mistakes but was able to outduel the MVP candidate to lead the Fins to a decisive win, putting the Dolphins in the National Spotlight that no media outlet can ignore any longer.

Something that I mentioned before, something that many of the best players lack…His ability to overcome adversity. The ice running through his veins. The ability to convert a 3rd and long deep in your own side of the field with ease. A trait that leads freshman rookies onto the field at halftime with the confidence to win the National Championship. A trait that helps you grind through the mental hurdle that is the rehab process during the offseason leading toward the 2020 draft. And a trait that can take this Miami Dolphins team from meddling to contenders. Nick Saban saw it, Brian Flores sees it, and now it’s time for the rest of the NFL landscape to see it.

With the 2020 Miami Dolphins having the #1 scoring defense in the league at this point of the year and with plenty of offensive weapons to choose from, there is no better time than the present to begin this era. Tua has the opportunity to prove to be the “missing piece” of the puzzle that will lead this Miami Dolphins team to the playoffs. Equipped with the trait that takes good players to great players, great players to elite players, and elite players to Hall of Fame players. The inept ability to overcome adversity. And fellow Fin Fans, our young Tua Tagovailoa has that trait, that “missing piece”.