Never afraid to put my opinion on the record, here’s where I stand on recent events regarding Tua Tagovailoa and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Tua Tagovailoa has been named the Dolphins quarterback versus the Rams in 10 days. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Former starter Ryan Fitzpatrick went on Zoom to talk about his feelings regarding the move. Does he have the right to be “heartbroken”? With fans and pundits weighing in, it’s time to offer my take on the events of the past two days.
Was naming Tua the starter this week surprising and was it the right move for the Dolphins?
I won’t lie, it was a little surprising. As recently as the day before the announcement I was telling readers “Don’t count on it” when it came to Tua starting in the near future. With Flores’ approach from last year that “we will play the guys that give us the best chance to win”, and his comments following the Dolphins win versus San Francisco, I was convinced that Flores thought Tua wasn’t ready. After all, the Dolphins are coming off consecutive victories and are only one game behind Buffalo at 3-3. On the other hand, I always thought the Dolphins would start Tua the week after the bye. Since the bye was moved from week 11 to week 7, that thinking still held true.
As for whether it’s the right move, that one is much harder to answer. For the immediate future, it would be alot less worrisome if Austin Jackson wasn’t injured and could start at left tackle. That way Jesse Davis could go back to right tackle and the offensive line would go back to Jackson (R), Ereck Flowers, Ted Karras, Solomon McKinley (R), Davis.
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Barring a change during the bye week, the Dolphins will be starting two rookies on the right side (McKinley at RG and Robert Hunt at RT); which just happens to be the ‘blind side’ of your new left-handed quarterback. Oh, did I forget to mention that is also the side of the line that NFL sack leader Aaron Donald plays on?
Long-term? I like this move. While I’m still not convinced that Tua will be the “next big thing” in the NFL, starting 10 games gives him a chance to show the staff if he has the skills AND durability to invest in the long run.
Usually when several quarterbacks are selected early in a draft, 1-2 are usually good and one is a bust. With the other two quarterbacks selected in the top 10 (Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert) looking good with their respective teams, the Dolphins will know if they got the ‘clunker’ or just maybe, this quarterback class is more like the 2004 NFL Draft that produced three above average quarterbacks (Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Phillip Rivers).
Now that we’ve covered the Tua side of the debate, let’s look at Ryan Fitzpatrick…