Tua Tagovailoa is the most captivating rookie in this year’s NFL season. The Alabama star Quarterback was a touchdown scoring machine and broke several records in his time with the Crimson Tide.
Drafted an injured star
A formerly No. 1 overall selection in the NFL draft, Tagovailoa slid down to the Miami Dolphins at No. 5 overall pick. The Crimson Tide star moved down after difficulties surrounding his health started to ascend following last season with a broken hipbone.
Immediately, questions linger around Tagovailoa’s well-being, whether or not he will be available by Week 1, or if the Dolphins will remain with Ryan Fitzpatrick for the 2020 season or if the Dolphins will automatically redshirt Tagovailoa despite his health.
Will Tua Tagovailoa be out there when Miami takes on New England in Week 1? pic.twitter.com/PstWFnCtcE
— FOX Bet (@FOXBet) May 20, 2020
Analyst take on playing Tagovailoa
Analyst on ESPN NFL and FOX emphasized playing Tagovailoa this season, especially if he’s fit and able. Both Anthony “Booger” McFarland and Tim Hasselbeck both think Tagovailoa needs to be on the gridiron this year.
Why Tua should sit and follow the Superbowl champions model
The most suitable route for the Dolphins and Tagovailoa appears to be clear: The 22-year-old, QB should sit for the 2020 season- all of it. The Dolphins should allow the experienced Fitzpatrick to lead for one last year.
This will challenge the fan base and the organization’s patience. Fitzpatrick’s history of up-and-down performances could push the front office to pull the trigger on starting Tagovailoa quicker than they should. Fitzpatrick at QB doesn’t generate meaningful excitement, but sitting Tagovailoa is the most reasonable move for all individuals involved. ESPN NFL analyst Dan Orlovsky agrees on the sit-and-start plan.
Nick Saban knows Tagovailoa better than anybody
Coach of the Crimson Tide Nick Saban was on ESPN’s First Take with Stephen A. Smith detailing his former star QB’s durability prior to the NFL Draft. “Tua is a durable guy, he’s a hardworking guy, he’s a physically built guy. Tua is a great competitor. If you look at a lot of the injuries he’s had- it’s because he is a great competitor,” Saban said. “Both of his ankle injuries and hip injury came late in a down when you could argue ‘why do you still have the ball? The play is dead, why don’t you throw the ball away?’ I think this is something he need’s to learn how to do because he’s such a great competitor,” Saban continued on Tagovailoa’s durability and decision-making.
Once, considered the norm for rookie QBs to sit on the bench and learn behind a veteran. While it seems to be a dated process, redshirting a rookie quarterback has still proven to be successful strategy as many teams have had success with the “old school” approach.
The Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers sat behind Brett Favre for three seasons. Kansas City’s Superbowl winning QB Patrick Mahomes sat behind Alex smith are just a couple of recent examples. Sitting Tagovailoa will allow him to learn the offense, learn how to be a true leader, and continue to rehabilitate his hip.
Rookies QBs are not successful
Usually, first-round quarterbacks have been thrown into the game by week 1. Nonetheless, the past ten years have proved that rookie QBs tend to fail. 21 of the 30 first-round QBs began at least ten games as rookies and have had minimal success.
Fitz is the man for the job
The Dolphins need to disregard the numbers, neglect the commands from fans to start Tagovailoa if the season does not go well in the beginning- and go down the traditional path.
The Dolphins should observe the Chiefs method and do the same with Tagovailoa. The Mahomes plan worked; it allowed the young QB to learn from Smith. Fitzpatrick is the ideal person to retain Miami afloat and guide Tagovailoa on being an NFL quarterback. The most significant benefit for Miami is providing the rookie enough time to grasp the NFL speed and feel comfortable playing again following his hip surgery.