For two years, “Tank for Tua” was the mountain top, and being able to pick the superstar quarterback from Alabama in the 2020 NFL draft was more important than any victory.
Then the Miami Dolphins became the lucky winners of the Tua Tagovailoa raffle. So lucky to get Tagovailoa to fall in the lap at the fifth overall takeout due to a serious injury he sustained.
Fans cheered, and the Dolphins’ front office tumbled over their luck. It seemed like the dolphins had finally gotten a break after years of looking for a star below the center.
Then Tagovailoa arrived in Miami, and the Dolphins have done everything to make sure their star quarterback fails, by repeatedly undermining his confidence.
How did we get here? What have the dolphins done so wrong? Let’s look back at five times the Miami Dolphins have tried to add Tua Tagovailoa to its long list of franchise errors.
He replaced Ryan Fitzpatrick at the strangest possible time
Miami did what most teams do when drafting a young quarterback: They put him on the bench and tell him to watch and learn for a few weeks. It’s normal. What is not normal is to decide the best time for him to replace the veteran in front of him is when the team is on a two-game winning streak and a match out of first place in the division.
Did Dolphins fans want to see Tua Tagovailoa finally play? Absolutely. Did the timing happen at the worst possible time for Tua? Absolutely.
Suddenly, rumors started that Ryan Fitzpatrick should stay under center. Only the Miami Dolphins would create negative vibes out of the blue around the most anticipated debut of a player in two decades.
The dolphins bend him at the first sign of adversity
Even after being deployed at the worst possible time, Tua Tagovailoa shone. He started his career 3-0 on his way into a game against the Denver Broncos. Everyone agreed that he had looked good until then, throwing five touchdowns and no interceptions during that time.
Then the Denver game went a little bit sideways. The rookie quarterback struggled for the first time, but the game was far from out of reach. Even in his matches, he completed 11 of 20 passing attempts with one touchdown and no interceptions.
But instead of letting Tagovailoa find his way, fight, learn, and get better on the other side of it, the Dolphins bowed to him, went back to Fitzpatrick, and created more drama. The yo-yo would continue as Tua was drawn in subsequent games in a similar manner.
It’s not the best way to instill confidence in a rookie quarterback who comes after an extremely serious injury, in the middle of a season that occurs during a pandemic.
The Dolphins’ 2021 NFL Draft Picks
The story has been that the Miami Dolphins have gone so far and over to help the rookie quarterback that they went out and selected Tagovaailoa’s former Alabama teammate, Jaylen Waddle, in the first round of this former NFL draft. The reality is that the Dolphins passed on better players, swapped out to acquire future picks and selected two defenders with their next two picks before choosing Liam Eichenberg, one of the worst NFL footballers this year, to block Tagovailoa .
It did not help anyone – but especially not Tua Tagovailoa – when the Dolphins chose his friend who is not as good at football as the players the team passed on, and then took defensive players to add a defense that was already elite. Maybe choose a running back or a lineman who is not the worst at his job next time? Just a suggestion.
Deshaun Watson Persecution
The Miami Dolphins’ attempt to swap for DeShaun Watson in the midst of his self-defeating as he handles 22 civil cases with allegations of sexual misconduct would be bad enough in a vacuum. But pursuing the Texans’ quarterback so publicly has damaged Tagovaailoa’s confidence forever.
Who would blame Tagovailoa if he demanded a deal or, by the way, never signed a contract with the Dolphins?
The dolphins have shown their true colors here. The team is rumored to have encouraged Watson to settle the 22 civil lawsuits as a precursor to a deal. Dolphin’s front office has proven to be not only downright contemptible in his interest in this player, but also completely unaware of what support a young quarterback needs to succeed.
Shame on the dolphins for this. Mostly for the nonchalance of the seriousness of the accusations against Watson, but also of the neglect of their current quarterback and team.
Middle finger port
Tua Tagovailoa may have a battered middle finger, but it looks like he wanted to play and looked perfect to play.
Instead of giving his franchise quarterback the chance to go out on the field and prove he could knock an injured finger out, the Dolphins put him on the bench and started Jacoby Brissett against Baltimore. Then Brissett was injured and Tagovailoa had to enter the match. And you know what? He led the team to a victory.
The move to apparently put Tagovailoa on the bench because he was a middle finger shy of operating 100 percent was confusing to outsiders, fans and pretty much everyone who paid attention. And it was only the recent chapter in the Dolphins that did their best to make the worst of Tua Tagovailoa.
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