Former Alabama Crimson Tide star Tua Tagovailoa will make his first NFL start on Sunday against the (5-2) LA Rams in South Beach.
His teammates are excited for the era of the 5th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft to begin. Prior to the dislocated hip Tua suffered against the Mississippi State Bulldogs that cut short a Heisman Trophy candidacy and dropped him from the surefire No. 1 pick to a No. 5 gamble by the Miami Dolphins, the Samoan sensation from Hawaii was considered a generational talent who would quickly ascend to superstar status as an NFL signal-caller.
After months of post-draft speculation, opinions, doubts and anticipation, HC Brian Flores announced last week that Tua would be taking over for veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick and would be making his first start at a time when the Dolphins sit at (3-3), second in the AFC East and eighth overall in the AFC.
The transition is a real surprise to many because the team is only 1.5 games behind the first place Bills (5-2). Conventional wisdom says it not an ideal time to make a change but the franchise has only made the playoffs twice since 2002 and are hoping for long-term success with Tua at the helm.
With the Dolphins positioned to make a playoff run, the move caught many by surprise. Tagovailoa is replacing the 16-year veteran who is 8-11 as the bridge starter for the team since it hired Flores and general manager Chris Grier (Only Black HC/GM Combo) to rebuild the franchise in 2019.
The team said seeing him perform and continue to improve is the most vital step in the rebuild. The quarterback carousel that has defined Miami since Dan Marino retired in 1999 continues. Tua will be the franchise’s 22nd starting signal-caller in the last 21 years.
The team is thoroughly impressed with Tua’s work ethic, daily improvements, and how tedious he’s worked to fit in with the team’s locker room. Chemistry and leadership is a huge part of any QBs development, especially a rookie drafted to save the franchise.
Sunday’s start will come just (351 Days) after Tua suffered a potential career-altering hip injury. He dislocated his hip and posterior wall — a Bo Jackson type of injury. Questions immediately surfaced about Tua’s return.
Flores said this decision was very hard because of the respect he possesses for Fitzpatrick, but it was also imminent at some point. The hard work shown by Tagovailoa lets Flores know this is the right move for the team.
Two other QBs from the 2020 NFL Draft are also starting and performing admirably. No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow (Cincinnati Bengals) and No. 6 overall pick Justin Herbert (San Diego Chargers)
Neither has seen it translate into a bunch of wins, but they can both sling it with the best of em’ and have had stretches where they’ve looked dynamic thus far. Tua was supposed to be the best of the lot pre-injury and the ovation he got from Dolphins fan in a few minutes of garbage time against the Jets makes it clear who they want at the helm.
This is the perfect moment for Tua Time. He’s not taking over a terrible squad and has a legitimate opportunity to make them better while learning on the job and preparing for a bright future. Tua’s maturity coupled with his deep faith will be on full display as he leads the Dolphins franchise for years to come