Report: Some Dolphins players have doubts about Tua Tagovailoa
The Miami Dolphins are committed to Tua Tagovailoa as the team’s starting quarterback in 2021, but they may have to do some selling to some of their players on that front.
Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald spoke to three Dolphins players who felt that guaranteeing Tagovailoa the starting quarterback job was premature, and admitted that they felt he had not shown enough in 2020 to receive such a guarantee.
The players told Salguero that they were unimpressed with Tagovailoa during training camp, and were “caught totally off guard” when he was abruptly named the starter in Week 7. The players even said they questioned whether Tagovailoa had any special skills beyond his accuracy, and one openly admitted to being frustrated when he was told that Tagovailoa would have to play in place of Ryan Fitzpatrick during the season finale against Buffalo.
“We always think next man up no matter what,” the player told Salguero. “But I saw Tua as the next man up because Fitz was better.”
The players made clear they have nothing against Tagovailoa and like him as a person and a teammate, but questioned why the Dolphins were so willing to publicly commit to Tagovailoa as starting quarterback while simultaneously pledging to have competition for every position.
“I don’t know, man, that’s like a puzzle right there,” one player said.
The Dolphins did largely look better on offense with Fitzpatrick under center, and Tagovailoa was getting benched mid-game as late as Week 16. It was quite puzzling to see the Dolphins bench Tagovailoa in key games with playoff implications, only to go right back to him as starter the next week.
It may be that Tagovailoa skepticism is helping fuel trade rumors like this.