The Miami Dolphins will get a first look at Tua Tagovailoa during training camp as the young quarterback recently passed his physical.
It is understandable that fans of the Miami Dolphins are eager to see rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa take over the starting role sooner rather than later, but the team should still remain cautious with the future of the franchise.
Per Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post (via USA Today), Tagovailoa has passed his physical and will be able to participate in training camp practices from the get-go; a truly positive sign of his progress since suffering a season-ending hip injury while playing for the Alabama Crimson Tide.
At this point, 37-year-old Ryan Fitzpatrick should still be the Dolphins’ guy under center, with the veteran already having familiarity with new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey and not having the difficulties of proving his health and overall condition.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, teams were unable to hold spring practices and so a number of players will be a bit behind in their development, including every rookie selected by the Miami Dolphins back in April.
Tagovailoa is the clear future of the team at the quarterback position, but that does not mean that he should be rushed into the starting line-up just because he has proven himself to be healthy at the start of training camp.
Rookies require time to learn and develop their game to fit the system of their new team, with new looks, routes and calls all being thrown at them early on.
Fitzpatrick, who has been in the NFL forever and is a strong leader on this team, should be the guy during the 2020 season until the rookie truly shows that he is already better than what the former Harvard alum gives them.
Fans have wide-ranging expectations of Tagovailoa for the 2020 season, with some hoping he starts in week one, some hoping to see him by the end of the year while others hope he redshirts the whole season and prepares himself to be ‘the guy’ in 2021.
Tagovailoa may impress greatly during training camp, giving the team’s hierarchy some tough decisions ahead of the season opener, but it would serve his development the best if he was sidelined at least to start with so that he can truly adjust to the professional level and get up to speed with what the team wants to do offensively.
A longer development period would also ensure that their prized prospect has time to truly prove his long-term fitness while taking notes and learning from a veteran that is openly willing to pass on his knowledge and hand the reins over when the young guy is ready.
It’s clear to everyone what Tagovailoa could offer the Miami Dolphins in the NFL, but it seems ill-advised to rush him into action when he could benefit even more from having more time to adjust, something that was not afforded to Ryan Tannehill when he entered the league – arguably leading to inflated expectations and more disappointments from a fan’s perspective as a result.