Tua Tagovailoa could be the future of the Miami Dolphins in a good way but he isn't there yet.
Dan Marino said to Jim Rome that Tua needs to "Pick a guy and let it fly" and he is absolutely right. It will make Tua a better QB regardless of what happens next.
You can't be an elite quarterback or any elite athlete without taking risks. It's part of the game. Josh Allen does a lot of dumb things with the football but he finds a way to win, at least against the Dolphins. Tua doesn't have to make the same mistakes that Allen makes, he shouldn't, but sometimes, he needs to take chances.
Tua is a method quarterback in my mind. That is a negative. I think his mind is calculating the risk when he throws the football. Perhaps this is why a quick-read offense serves him well and takes the thinking out of the game. When Tua is forced out of the pocket or forced to deliver to 3rd or 4th reads, his game starts to break down.
From watching film, Tua doesn't throw a lot of interceptions like other QBs. He has his share. Bad throws, bad reads, and missed opportunities, but why? Trying to force the ball into bad coverage isn't something he does a lot of. His INTs come because he appears to be frantically trying to avoid trouble.
Patrick Mahomes takes risks. He scrambles and he unloads the football. Tua, more often than not, does not. He holds the ball, takes a sack, runs out of bounds, or slides four yards shy of being hit. He plays too carefully if that makes any sense.
When Tua drops back I don't think he will throw an interception even when he leaves the pocket. When he rolls out, I think it will be incomplete but this is where he needs to build his own confidence in himself and his receivers. Buying time also buys time for them to find clear lanes for him to pass the ball but Tua has to be willing to do that. He has to be willing to take risks.
There are times throughout a game when you don't take chances. Up by 14 in the 4th quarter is not the time to push the ball downfield into coverage but extending a drive can win a football game. There is no reason to throw the ball into the dirt on 3rd and 2 any more than throwing a 2-yard pass on 3rd and 12.
Tua wants to work on 4th things this off-season, in his own words at the Pro Bowl last week. One of those areas is having some faith in what he can do and taking a timely risk and dealing with the consequences, good or bad. He isn't there yet and playing safe football will never give him the room to grow.