The Miami Dolphins have moved Tua Tagovailoa to the starting position and there are some questions.
Last week there was a rumor floating around that there were some in the Dolphins organization that wanted Tua Tagovailoa to start.
For weeks, Brian Flores was asked why Tua Tagovailoa wasn’t getting late game reps on the field when the game was clearly in hand. Flores would give a typical coach-speak answer. Some were of the “why put him in to hand it off” or “He isn’t ready yet” or even, “if it was my kid coming off that injury” type of answers. What did happen, is Tua didn’t play.
Suddenly a few days after that “rumor” Tua goes into the game and a day later is the starter.
Addressing that “rumor” it was a very suspect one at best. The source does not have a history of accuracy or legitimacy. We opted to not run with it then but in hindsight could there have been something to it?
As the rumor went, there was a difference in opinion regarding Tua. It was non-specific but it seemed as though either the coaches wanted him to play and management didn’t, or vice-versa. Again, to dismiss it was easy but why the sudden, and it was sudden, change of heart regarding his status?
Tua played one series on Sunday and made two completions before taking a knee and ending the game. Many are pointing to the fact that this week is the teams bye-week so that makes a lot of sense in regards to making a switch.
It would make sense if that was the plan all along but if that were true, we would think that Ryan Fitzpatrick would have been aware of the plan, apparently he wasn’t. Fitzpatrick is reportedly taking this in his typical “class-act” manner but I think we can discount any ideas that the plan from day one was the bye week because the bye was supposed to be much later than week seven.
Brian Flores has maintained all along that he would play the players that give the team the best chance to win and we need to look at this as the reason more than anything else.
Flores has stayed with that notion since he arrived even last year with Josh Rosen. Tua may be looking great in practice, we don’t know. What we do know is that while Fitzpatrick has looked good at times in games, he has been inconsistent and last week he struggled at times despite the three TD passes.
Flores is not going to rock the boat of his team. Not to satisfy management, not to satisfy cries from the fans, and he is not going to risk the health of Tagovailoa if he isn’t 100% sure that this is the best move for the team. Even a team that is in the playoff chase with a schedule that is favorable over the next six weeks.
This is a good time to get Tua on the field even if his first start is going to be against a tough Rams defensive line with Aaron Donald.
Whatever we think we know, the simplest of answers is that the Dolphins, both the coaches and the management, were on the same page with this decision. It’s time to see what he can do.