Can Tua break out in 2022?
This has been the question all offseason surrounding Miami’s quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
From injuries to inconsistencies on the field, it is safe to say that his third season in the NFL is a make-or-break one for the QB out of Alabama.
Weapons Will Help Tua Break Out
If the fifth overall pick breaks out, a big part of that will be down to the offensive weapons he has at his disposal.
Former college teammate Jaylen Waddle was taken with the sixth overall pick in last year’s draft and had a tremendous rookie season, breaking the rookie reception record set by Anquan Boldin. Tight end Mike Gesicki was also a preferred target for Tua.
The Dolphins have also gone out and acquired players such as Cedrick Wilson, Chase Edmonds, and Raheem Mostert, as well as going out and acquiring Tyreek Hill from the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for five draft picks. This is pure speed.
One criticism of Tua was that he was playing for the best-ever college head coach and throwing to a track team. He now has arguably the three fastest players in the league on his offense. If these players do not help him succeed, then his future as Miami’s starting QB will be in doubt.
Can New Head Coach Mike McDaniel Help Tua Break Out?
It does not take a rocket scientist to work out that Tua and former head coach Brian Flores did not get on. No matter how much they both wanted people to believe that they did get on, it was clear to see there was a strained relationship.
Tua has also made specific comments that have implied a change in the mood at camp with new coaching.
Mike McDaniel is the new Dolphins head coach and comes in after a successful period as the San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator.
McDaniel has already come out several times, including his appearance on the Pat McAfee show, and spoken of Tua’s accuracy.
His play style will most likely use short passes, as seen in McDaniel’s style of offense in San Francisco. This will help Tua, with arm strength a massive criticism that comes his way. We have seen Hill extend plays with the Chiefs from short passes, and Waddle is another great yards-after-catch player.
A running back room featuring Edmonds, Mostert, and Myles Gaskin, while isn’t elite, offers speed and the chance for a running back by committee. Handing it off to any of these players gives Tua the chance to ease the pressure on himself.
What Represents Progress For Tua In 2022?
Staying on the field will be a key target for Tua this season. Despite his 13-8 record as a starter, Tua has yet to put together a run of games. He was benched for Ryan Fitzpatrick twice during his rookie season and missed four games due to injury in 2021.
Injuries hampered him in Alabama, and he will want to avoid it being an issue for the third season running.
Playoffs are the target for the team, but making the postseason will go some way to silence the critics. If you win playoff games, you already become less of an easy target by fans or the media.
Winning playoff football is a feather in your cap that helps a player’s legacy. Making the postseason will also please the fans and represent a great first season under McDaniel.
Everyone knows Tua has won games; as mentioned above, his record shows this as a starter. However, he will want to improve his stats. While he is unlikely to put up Brett Favre or Patrick Mahomes numbers, he can have a Drew Brees-like career where he uses an accuracy-based methodical approach. A season where he puts up 3,500 or more yards, over 25 touchdowns, and less than 15 interceptions would be a massive step and show the doubters that he is the guy in the future.