Miami Dolphins: 3 expectations for Tua Tagovailoa in 2021
By Jeremy Klump
Tua Tagovailoa needs to play more aggressive in 2021.
If there was one knock on Tagovailoa in 2020 that I agreed with, it was his lack of aggression throwing the football. But let’s not forget he was a rookie, so this isn’t something to be concerned about. And if we are being truthful, Tagovailoa showed signs of aggressiveness throwing the ball; his weapons were just terrible and did not help him succeed doing it.
I’m sure if Jakeem Grant didn’t drop that deep ball in the Cincinnati game, some people wouldn’t even think about this as a knock on Tagovailoa.
However, throw all the stats away. Throw all the weapons away. Let’s just focus on Tagovailoa for this discussion.
For me, Tagovailoa played too safe. “Why is it bad for a quarterback to play safe?” Listen, I get it. Quarterbacks throwing interceptions isn’t a good thing, and imagine if Tagovailoa did throw more interceptions last season. The media would already be holding his retirement segment, saying he is done for good in the NFL.
But, again, for me, I want to see Tagovailoa learn more. I want to see him try to make an aggressive, tight-window throw that’s picked off so he can learn and find that perfect balance of game manager and gunslinger.
I want to see him take a deep shot where his guy is covered and trust his elite accuracy to place the ball where only his receiver can get it. I think the time is now for Tagovailoa to get as aggressive as possible and learn from it.
Peyton Manning is an excellent example of this. He went out in his rookie season and threw 28 interceptions. It was one of the worst rookie seasons ever, but he learned and got better from it. Even in Year 2, Manning still threw 15 interceptions, so I think Tagovailoa should not stress about throwing picks.
I expect Tagovailoa to open it up and let his arm be live this season. Having Will Fuller and whoever they draft will surely help, but I’m focusing more on Tagovailoa.