Tua Tagovailoa can not fail but Miami Dolphins fans are putting too much pressure on the rookie.
The Miami Dolphins have invested in their future spending an early first-round draft pick on Tua Tagovailoa. Now, fans need to let him grow.
This is not a knock on fans, Miami Dolphins fans deserve to finally have a quarterback they can rally behind. They should be buying his uniform jersey, t-shirts, and anything else they can get. It has been a long time coming and way overdue.
Tua Tagovailoa has a lot of talent. He was a star at Alabama and had it not been for his injury, he may have been the number one overall pick in last April’s draft. A fortuitous drop for the Dolphins. That being said, is too much pressure being put on the rookie? By the fans and local media?
The hype over Tua is real. There is no question about that. But for me, being around the NFL media circles for almost 17 years, I have seen a lot of hype over some great football players who never became great.
When I think about quarterbacks, I never can get by the Cleveland Browns and while I can most assuredly say that coaching was a big problem for many of those QB’s, the reality is that I can also blame the incredibly outrageous expectations of Browns fans.
Players like Tim Couch, Brandon Weeden, Brady Quinn, Johnny Manziel, and even Baker Mayfield were all supposed to be the end-all for the Browns QB problems. Well, o.k. no really Weeden. The point is, Browns fans had unrealistic expectations for their drafted QB’s and so far, none of them have succeeded. We are still waiting for Mayfield.
Fans of the Browns, and I know a lot of them as most of my extended family are from Cleveland, have been doing what Dolphins fans are doing with Tagovailoa. So hungry for a star at the position, that each draft pick is the next NFL superstar. The pressure that Browns fans have put on QBs over the decades have been brutal. Tim Couch was practically ran out of town by Browns fans ire over him not becoming a day one star. Mayfield came with all the hype but how long will fans support him if they don’t win?
Miami Dolphins fans will be quick to say “we are not Browns fans” but in reality, we are in some respects, especially when it comes to the QB.
Again, we can go back to coaching, and Brown’s coaching has been worse than Miami’s. Even worse than Joe Philbin. We are all banking on Brian Flores being a successful coach and as a result, we tend to see Tagovailoa as a can’t miss prospect because we view Flores as a can’t miss coach.
Miami fans are hungry for success and they are hungry for a quarterback. Last year Dolphins fans rallied around a journeyman QB who has never played a playoff game and they were thrilled with his performance and what he brought to the team.
Why? Because expectations for Ryan Fitzpatrick were not high. They will be for Tua Tagovailoa.
I’m not immune to any of this. While Tagovailoa was not my first QB, it is hard not like the kid and it is even harder not get excited about what the future could hold with him at the helm. I haven’t bought a jersey yet but man it is exciting to think that time might come.
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With social media such a big influencer on our lives, there is a direct line to players via that platform. What happens if Tagovailoa doesn’t immediately play at the level fans expect. And yes, some do expect him to walk on the field and pick up where he left off. He won’t. I hope he does.
For Tagovailoa, he has to keep himself away from the comments of how great he is and stay humble, he has so far but he didn’t have the mini-camps and OTA’s this year. For their part, the Miami Dolphins will only showcase the good from camp with limited media availability and that too could lean towards an over impressive camp.
What fans need to do is stay enthusiastic. They need to keep up the hype but they also need to keep in the back of their minds that Tua is a rookie QB who played not a single down in the NFL and that QB’s don’t always become successful at the next level.
My question is this, how much time will Tua get to prove he is the great savior for this team? Fans turned on Ryan Tannehill pretty quickly but I would suspect that will not be the case with Tagovailoa. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Tagovailoa fails in Miami that the blame will be placed on the coaches and the general manager for not doing a better job of finding him sufficient support.
The good news is, or the bad if you will, is that we are not likely to see Tagovailoa any time soon. With no pre-season games, we may not see him throw a pass until 2021. That is a lot of time to continue to build the cars to add to the hype-train.
Tagovailoa deserves the accolades. His college career was stellar and Miami Dolphins fans deserve to finally have someone they have been dreaming about. For two years Dolphins fans have been pounding their fists for Tagovailoa and despite Miami winning too many games to pick in the top two spots, they landed him. Again, fortuitous?
The question that I often find myself asking though is what is the acceptable floor for Tagovailoa? That level that is still considered great or adequate or anything more than Ryan Tannehill? Is Tannehill that floor or is it something else?