Miami Dolphins Tua Tagovailoa handles benching like a professional.
On Saturday night, Miami Dolphins watched as an ineffective Tua Tagovailoa was once again benched in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Benching a young quarterback can have a lot of bad consequences. When a rookie is pulled off the field because he is playing poorly, it can sometimes affect the mental part of his game. Last night, Brian Flores pulled Tagovailoa in the 4th quarter and rode Ryan Fitzpatrick to an improbable victory. For most players, that might be a problem. For Tua, doesn’t seem to bother him at all.
This was the 2nd time that Miami has benched its franchise QB this year. There will be learning curves and while Flores maintains that Tua is the best quarterback to lead them, sometimes you have to recognize a bad game.
"“I think – this is the second time it’s happened, but I would say it’s just something you’ve got to learn from. While ‘Fitz’ (Ryan Fitzpatrick) is in there, I’m going to support him. I’m going to support the entire offense in there and as a team, really all you’re looking forward to is a win, and that’s what we got tonight so that’s what we’re happy with.” – Via Miami Dolphins postgame transcripts"
Tua’s handling of his benching is professional. He wants to be on the field the entire game but he also wants to win. He knows he wasn’t getting it done and he knows he has a lot to learn. Fitzpatrick has become a quasi-father type to Tua and after Fitzpatrick led the Dolphins to a touchdown it was Tua who was there to meet him on the sideline.
"“It’s always good to win. (laughter) It always feels good to win, first off. I know outsiders are probably going to say, ‘well, it wasn’t you in there that brought the win.’ Of course, it was ‘Fitz’ (Ryan Fitzpatrick) and I think it was a great effort by not just him, but the entire offense. – postgame transcripts"
Tua has a lot of growth ahead of him and while he is going to have setbacks, he is in a good position with the team that makes it easy to trust either quarterback without there being a controversy. There isn’t. They all know it. It was a bad game and Tua stood on the sideline like a man instead of pouting on the bench.
If there is something to really like about Tua is the fact he wants to compete and more importantly get better. He said that he needs to take more shots downfield when the opportunity is there but that he will continue to take what the defense gives him. The NFL is a lot different from Alabama where an “open” receiver was typically wide-open whereas, in the NFL, it’s a matter of inches.