Deal with it folks. I realize there is a large pack of individuals that go out of their way to trash Tua Tagovailoa. They hate his arm strength, which admittedly isn’t his strong suit, or that he gets injured too often, which is something that can’t really be refuted. Or, they rag on him because he isn’t Justin Herbert, which if you watched yesterday I’m glad Tua wasn’t Herbert. These are things that Tua really can’t do much about.
But you know what he does have that you just can’t teach? He has the presence of mind to process the game slowly and the innate ability to sense trouble and quickly get out of it. That Spidey sense to evade defenders is something Tua has to do literally every pass play because there can’t be a pass play where either Liam Eichenberg, Jesse Davis, or Austin Jackson doesn’t let their man run by them like they aren’t a 300LB person whose job is to get in front of another near 300LB guy who is only a few feet from you.
Tua is an absolute wizard how he navigates the pocket. We saw it last week on the bomb to Hollins and we saw it yesterday multiple times including the big play to Waddle. Tua had to step up and fortunately newly acquired, a guy you shouldn’t mess with Phillip Lindsay, bailed Eichenberg out. Tua knows that on every drop back that he has to account for someone in front of him failing at their assignment.
Think about that for a second. Tua has to go into every pass play knowing what the play is but also knows that it’s not going to occur like it’s supposed to because he knows one of the offensive linemen isn’t just going to get beat but that they’re going to get beat instantly forcing him to change his approach to the play. And when I say every pass play, I quite literally mean every pass play there is breakdown upfront.
There are a plethora of stats you can find that paints a nice picture of Tua being the guy for years to come. You can find the one that says Tua against the #1 ranked defense, who were the Panthers, wen 27/31 for 230 yards and one INT with a rating of 108.3, that Tua is one of four players to ever post back to back 80%+ completion percentages. But I’ll stick with this one.
Those are numbers that can win games in this league. These are numbers that can win playoff games.
Do you want to get all over him for not throwing deep? Be my guest. Counterpoint; if everyone knows he’s only throwing short it’s kind of bad on all these defensive players and coaches for not stopping it right? That must mean Tua is so good that he could do something everyone knows is coming and still is able to do it.
Tua has five games to make himself even better. I feel he will and he will put the franchise in a position to either let go of a guy who has fought through all the rumors, all the garbage, the beyond awful terrible line, the near bottom of the league running game, and the lack of real wide receivers ever staying healthy for other excellent more established and better resume quarterbacks. That’s the chess move I don’t think the organization saw coming. It will be fascinating to watch but insufferable to experience.