Another day another angle to tear down Tua Tagovailoa. You can really set your watch to this occurring every day. This is an angle that isn’t new. This has been mentioned before but I just saw a video that is making the rounds and I’m frankly annoyed that it exists.
In it, you have Julian Edelman, who’s giving TV a go, the incredible athlete that is Phil Simms, and the completely rational, never to fly off the handle for no good reason Brandon Marshall, all going off on Tua for not having an elite skill or trait that will help him become a franchise quarterback. It’s bizarre, but not surprising. What I can’t understand is, in 2021, with an emphasis on numbers, stats, and a proclivity to go beyond the obvious, why Tua’s Spidey sense, his ability to react instantly when trouble occurs which is every time he passes, why that can’t be his greatest weapon that can be cultivated and built upon?
Klump has already laid out reasons stating that Tua’s durability issues, which Edleman brings up, are reasons why he won’t be a franchise quarterback. That I can buy. Not being able to play because you get injured too much is certainly a reason to dock Tua. Until he stops having to miss games for whatever ailment, that is something that is a viable reason to bring up.
It’s true, Tua isn’t a freak athlete. He isn’t crazy strong, or have a rocket arm. He doesn’t possess wheels that will allow him to go around defenders. All are traits that can be seen by the naked eye. But what he does have is that Spidey sense that I mentioned. Laugh at it if you will, and I assure you this isn’t a plug for Spider Man No Way Home, which comes out in all theaters on December 17, but having the “feel” to know when to exit the designed play and to get the ball, accurately I may add, to an open receiver is absolutely a weapon, skill, or trait that separate him from most.
Is it something that you pencil in every game and know that it’s going to work out? Of course not. Just like you can’t count on Lamar Jackson’s or Kyler Murray’s legs to bail them out all the time or Josh Allen and Aaron Rodger’s arm strength to win every game. They’re all skills that are awesome to have but they aren’t forgone conclusions to insure victory every week.
Do you want to say that avoiding sacks isn’t important? Well, the Dolphins have won four in a row, two and a half of them because of Tua’s quick release and escapability. Here’s a fun graph showing how crazy it is that Tua is able to do what he’s doing with the revolving door that is the Miami Dolphin’s offense line protecting him.
Yes, it’s only been 6 games this year, but Tua has only been sacked eight times with this offensive line and he ranks 10th in total QBR, a stat I respect. That’s pretty damn good and it’s a skill that can be built upon. It’s a skill that folks like Ryan Tannehill, Justin Fields, and Joe Burrow don’t have. They aren’t that good at maneuvering around the pocket, which is different from running. Dan Marino was quite possibly the slowest human on Earth when he played but his ability to navigate dirty pockets was pretty much unchallenged. I’m not saying Tua is at that level, but he’s really stellar at avoiding negative plays while getting the ball out to receivers.
Hopefully, the Dolphin’s offensive line gets better. They probably won’t get too much better so Tua is going to have to show off that elite Spidey Sense(just saying, get your tickets now). Perhaps next year, pending that Tua is still here, the front office invests some of their predicted league-leading cap space(cap space is a myth by the way) on better offensive lineman so Tua can concentrate on accuracy being his chief weapon of choice.
Tua may certainly end up showing he truly isn’t the guy. But this idea that he doesn’t bring anything of value to the game or that he doesn’t have a superpower like Brandon Marshall said (talk about a guy trying to get folks to go see a Marvel movie amiright?) is plain dumb. Tua Tagovailoa’s Spidey sense, feel, sense of danger, or whatever adjective you want to use to describe it is off the charts and should be appreciated a bit more, in my humble opinion. Have yourself a Thursday.
I’m telling you, I don’t work for Marvel. That’s a ridiculous thing to assume