It’s Tua Time
Tua Tagovailoa has been the favored punching bag of NFL media and fans alike. Even within the Miami Dolphins fandom a plethora of haters can be found. There are few in Dolphins fandom, and fewer outside of the fandom, that still believe Tua can succeed in the NFL. I am one of these believers. Tua has not had fair coverage from the media and is the sole young quarterback talked about in a negative spotlight in the league. I am here to correct this mistake.
This article will serve two purposes and will really be divided into two parts. The first part will be debunking myths as to flaws in Tua’s game. The second part will be what Miami has done to address the shortcomings of the roster as a whole to help their young quarterback.
Tua Can’t Throw Deep
This is one of the most common marks against Tua. The internet is filled with memes about Tua’s arm and media members like Colin Cowherd and Nick Wright bring it up constantly when discussing Tua. The fact is that this is just outright wrong. I would call it a lie, but that would mean these two would have to actually watch Tua play football.
Because Miami added Tyreek Hill via a trade with Kansas City recently, a lot of people have been comparing Tua to Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes. Let me first say that Tua is not Mahomes. Mahomes is a former NFL MVP and has won a Super Bowl. He is a special talent and is one of the three best QBs in the league. The two really aren’t in the same categories right now.
People latch on to a single narrative and never let it go, despite both analytics and the eye test proving their narrative false. The idea that Hill is just a deep threat and Miami can’t use him to go over the top is, again, false. Kansas City did not use him just as a deep threat.
Not only can Tua throw deep, but honestly he really doesn’t have to. Having Hill and Jaylen Waddle as your top two receivers is almost like having a cheat code. Tua doesn’t have to sit in the pocket for four seconds and let someone get downfield. When you have playmakers, the best thing you can do as a quarterback is to get the ball in their hands. Mahomes realized that and I believe Tua will also.
Tua Is Too Short
I understand the thought process of where this take comes from, but that doesn’t make it less wrong. People like Skip Bayless have used this in arguments in the past. The idea is that Tua is so short, 6’1, that he can’t really see over the line and analyze the field. I have already given you Tua’s height. Now let me provide some other QB heights.
- Kyler Murray – 5’10
- Russell Wilson – 5’11
- Drew Brees – 6’0
- Lamar Jackson – 6’2
- Dak Prescott – 6’2
- Aaron Rodgers – 6’2
- Deshaun Watson – 6’2
I feel like I shouldn’t have to say much about the QBs listed. All are either MVPs, Hall of Fame-caliber, or simply beloved by the NFL media.
Tua Isn’t Mobile
Tua Tagovailoa suffered a pretty nasty hip injury while at Alabama. The injury really put his development behind as he tried to play catch up ever since. Over time, Tua has gotten some of his mobility back and can run. This, per usual, has not stopped analysts from using a “lack of mobility” as a negative for Tua.
Tua vs His Peers
Tua Tagovailoa is entering his third season in the league. Through two seasons, Tua has a solid 13-8 record as a starter. For your information Nick Wright, it was just the Raiders game Ryan Fitzpatrick came in for Tua and won that game. If you want, we can trade that game for when Tua came in and beat the Ravens while injured.
How does Tua’s first two years stack up against some of his peers? Let’s take a look at a QB within his division.
Imagine if Buffalo had given up on Josh Allen after two seasons. Allen looked terrible through those two years with small flashes of looking good. Ever since Stefon Diggs got to town, the story has been a lot different. Hill being in Miami can do the same thing for Tua that Diggs did for Allen.
How about Kyler Murray? People love him and at one point this past season was in MVP talks.
Yes, I get it, these are stats from Tua’s second year and Kyler’s rookie season. But one was held as a future star in the league, while the other is said to be a bust whose team should move on from him.
Tua On Such A Short Lesh
Why does every other young quarterback get a free pass for mistakes? Why is it Justin Herbert can throw interceptions in late game-winning situations, have a losing record along with a top defense and good weapons on offense, and still have no shade thrown his way? Mac Jones was not great last year, yet he is the golden boy for many.
Trevor Lawrence was awful in his rookie year. But he gets every excuse while Tua does not. No weapons on offense? No run game? Bad offensive coach? Terrible O-Line? All the above is true for both. Lawrence was said to be the greatest prospect out of college since Joe Montana and Andrew Luck. But he gets a pass while Tua doesn’t?
What about Trey Lance and Justin Fields? Do they get a pass because we’ve only seen them in a limited compacity? People were ready to throw Tua away after less than a handful of games and they were picked higher in the draft than Tua. Zach Wilson was trash. But there’s hope for him on a horrific Jets roster and not for Tua with everything Miami has done this offseason?
The Case For Tua
Now that I am done ranting, let me talk about how Tua Tagovailoa will succeed. Brian Flores was not an offensive coach. He couldn’t even keep an offensive coordinator and was always looking for a new one once the season ended. Mike McDaniel is offensive-minded and is considered one of the brightest young minds in the NFL. That is, until he took the Miami job and all of a sudden people are questioning if he can be a head coach.
Miami had the 32nd ranked offensive line last season. Hard to win games with that, yet somehow Miami won nine. The signings of Terron Armstead and Connor Williams are massive improvements and will greatly bolster the effectiveness of the O-Line. Tua also was gifted Cedrick Wilson as a new face to further improve the receiving core. As of right now, DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki are still on the roster (Gesicki was franchise tagged). Tua has weapons now.
As for the run game, Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert will share carries and catches out of the backfield. McDaniel truly believes, correctly, that the run game is what opens up what an offense can do. The defense, in both player and coaching personnel, has largely remained intact. Who’s to say a team that won nine games last season and has drastically improved on the offensive side in the offseason can’t win more games and make a playoff push?
Time To Shine
I believe Tua Tagovailoa will succeed in the NFL and this year will be the year a lot of media members eat crow on their Tua takes. Tua finally has a full team around him with a coach that actually supports him in front of the media. McDaniel quickly shuts down rumors and has established that Tua is their guy moving forward. We are nearing the last call for the Tua train before it leaves the station and we leave the rest of you behind. Trust me, Dolphins fans, like myself, have been keeping receipts. Just remember, your apology needs to be as loud as the hate.
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