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#pounditTuesday, November 29, 2022

Ryan Fitzpatrick has interesting admission about Tua Tagovailoa

Aug 20, 2021; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) talks to fans while leaving the field after the Washington Football Team’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Fitzpatrick spent one season with Tua Tagovailoa in Miami, so he knows better than most what sort of skills the young quarterback has. He also knows how things went between Tagovailoa and former coach Brian Flores, and he offered up a rather revealing opinion about that recently.

Though Tagovailoa was the starter for the bulk of that 2020 season, Flores sometimes brought Fitzpatrick in for the fourth quarter of close games with Miami trying to grab a playoff spot. Fitzpatrick suggested that Flores should have let Tagovailoa, then a second-year player, battle through it, and that bringing in the veteran was the wrong move.

“There was the Denver game that I came in in the fourth quarter, and there was the Las Vegas game and I came in the fourth quarter,” Fitzpatrick told Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post. “I think that was that was kind of an admission by coach for us that there were certain aspects of (Tua’s) game that weren’t ready yet, because he was young in terms of the two minute drill and being able to do some of that stuff efficiently.

“But he’s so talented, that it was time to get him on the field and get them to learn. And so I thought (Tua) did a great job with that year, because that wasn’t easy. showing up to work every day having a smile on his face. And so, after I left, there was some things that got even rockier with that relationship.”

Fitzpatrick added that he felt Tagovailoa’s relationship with new coach Mike McDaniel was much more fruitful and is translating to results.

At the time, Flores maintained that Tagovailoa’s benchings were not a reflection of a lack of faith in the quarterback. That is almost impossible to believe, though. Fitzpatrick suggests that players saw it that way, which is bound to undermine confidence in a young quarterback.

Ultimately, this is further confirmation of what we already knew. Flores did not handle Tagovailoa well and never seemed totally enamored with him. Bringing in McDaniel has made a big difference.

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