Miami Dolphins Tua Tagovailoa received very good and rare praise from Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Miami Dolphins fans have been dying for new on Tua Tagovailoa and now, they at least have something to hold on to thanks to Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The starting quarterback for the 2020 season may very well be Ryan Fitzpatrick but Tua Tagovailoa won’t be far behind so long as he can remain in a healthy status. Already having passed his physical, he is impressing those around him. Fitzpatrick included.
Speaking to the media, Fitzpatrick noted that Tua has the “it” factor and is someone that players will gravitate towards.
This is great praise from Fitzpatrick and only stands to inflate the infatuation with Tua, and justify that infatuation at the same time. Miami has needed a leader at the position. They have needed a field general and someone that the team would rally behind. If this is true, and everything we have heard about Tua from his days at Alabama supports the statement, the Dolphins will not have to worry about how he integrates or wins over his teammates.
Jay Fiedler was an average QB with average talent who fought hard for his team but while he left it all on the field, the shortcomings couldn’t be overcome. After Fiedler, there really wasn’t another quarterback that stepped up to lead.
Matt Moore won over his teammates but he lacked the NFL quarterback elite status that could have lifted the team. He didn’t have the “it” factor. Ryan Tannehill had the talent to win but he lacked the passion to lead and as a result, he struggled in Miami to win over his teammates.
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The common denominator in all of it? Dan Marino had both. Bob Griese had both. Now, Miami may finally have a quarterback with the talent to succeed, the leadership ability to succeed, and the personality that attracts the players to him, or as Fitzpatrick said, “gravitates”.
This was something that many in the media talked about prior to the draft and over the last two seasons at Alabama. Tua is well-liked by his teammates and he came across as just a regular guy in his interviews leading up to the draft. Still, hearing about a college kid that everyone likes is a lot different than hearing about a quarterback at the NFL level that players almost immediately like.
Will it translate to success on the field? No, but it will make Tua a better professional and it will make him a better leader. That is something you can’t teach or in the case of Tannehill, learn over time. It is either in you, or it is not. It is without question something Miami has lacked since Marino with the exception of maybe Chad Pennington and Fitzpatrick himself.