Tua Tagovailoa has some things to work on before his Miami Dolphins debut.
Tua Tagovailoa is destined to do great things in Miami. But there are a few things that could halt his growth as the Dolphins, next great quarterback.
I want to start this piece with the caveat that I loved the pick of Tagovailoa and had been advocating for him for the majority of the draft process. I am ecstatic that he is a member of the Miami Dolphins.
The Miami Dolphins took Tua Tagovailoa with the number 5 pick in the 2020 draft in an attempt to finally solve their consistent quarterback question. Fans and analysts alike applauded the move, as many believed, myself included, that Tagovailoa was the best quarterback coming out in 2020.
Throughout his time at Alabama, Tagovailoa proved to be a winner at the highest level, with good accuracy and anticipation. He doesn’t turn the ball over and reads the field as well as any quarterback in the 2020 draft class.
And yet, there are questions about some of his weaknesses. Unfortunately, Tagovailoa, as everyone already knows, struggled with injuries throughout his collegiate career, most notably his ankle, knee, and hip injuries. These consistent injuries earned him the “injury-prone” label, which turned some teams off of the talented quarterback.
Tagovailoa’s biggest question mark is his durability and whether or not he can stay healthy for the majority of a season. But that has already been beaten to death as a topic for conversation. This lead to me to wonder, what are some of the other issues in his game that could plague Tagovailoa’s career?
I’ve watched a lot of tape on Tagovailoa in preparation for this article. There was a ton of highlight moments over the course of his sophomore and junior years that should make Dolphins fans excited about the prospect of him becoming a great quarterback in Miami. There are very few glaring weaknesses in his game that would need a significant overhaul to fix. It’s, more or less, tiny problems that could be easily fixed with proper coaching.
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First, Tagovailoa tries too hard to extend plays. There is nothing wrong with trying to make plays, and Tagovailoa is an athletic quarterback. But he isn’t Russel Wilson when it comes to elusiveness. This is also incredibly important when it comes to Tagovailoa’s injury history.
Now, injuries happen in football. It’s as guaranteed as paying taxes but the hope is that players can eliminate the risk of being injured on any given play. Tagovailoa will need to get better at taking sacks or throwing the ball away in order to minimize the hits he takes. I get this is hard for any competitor, but being on the field is more important than a three-yard gain, especially for a quarterback who has Tagovailoa’s injury history.
I, for one, do believe that his hip injury that ended his final collegiate season was a fluke, and injuries like that don’t happen often. But, little things can happen often and Tagovailoa will need to eliminate the risk of piling up those little things.
One other thing I noticed when watching the film is footwork. Tagovailoa can be a little sloppy sometimes in his dropbacks. I can’t say that will hurt him at the pro level, as I expect Miami’s coaching staff will fix that early in the offseason.
Outside of these nit-picky issues, Tagovailoa has very few weaknesses and proved to be an incredibly accurate passer and a capable leader. If he can fix these tiny issues, Tagovalioa has the talent and ability to become the next great Miami Dolphins quarterback.