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#pounditSunday, April 18, 2021

Articles tagged: Miami Dolphins

Report: Josh Rosen on trade block with Dolphins

Josh Rosen

The Miami Dolphins have gotten nothing but positive reports on Tua Tagovailoa’s health since they drafted him back in April, and all of the good news appears to have made Josh Rosen expendable.

The Dolphins have been fielding calls from teams interested in trading for Rosen, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is considered the favorite to start for Miami in Week 1, but he recently left the team due to the death of his mother. Rosen said last week that he is ready to start if called upon. However, the Dolphins’ willingness to trade him seemingly indicates either they expect Fitzpatrick to be back for Week 1 or Tagovailoa would be next in line.

Rosen, who was drafted No. 10 overall by the Arizona Cardinals in 2018, struggled in his first two NFL seasons. He threw one touchdown and five interceptions in six games with the Dolphins last year. His motivation this offseason has been admirable, but he doesn’t appear to be a significant part of Miami’s plans.

5 NFL teams that could surprise in 2020

Tua Tagovailoa

Seeing a team go from worst-to-first has become the norm in the NFL, and 2020 is not likely to see that change. There will be many top teams that sink to the bottom while others rise up and surprise the football world.

We’re not here to predict which team will go from worst-to-first, but we are here to examine five teams that could surprise in one form or fashion here in 2020.

Let’s take a look:

5. Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons started off 1-7 in 2019 and things looked grim. However, they rebounded to close out the season by winning six of their final eight games to give them a 7-9 record for the second consecutive season. The turnaround was enough to save some jobs and give the current regime one more chance in 2020. They’ve since added running back Todd Gurley via free agency and selected Clemson cornerback A.J. Terrell in the 2020 NFL Draft, essentially improving on both sides of the ball. With quarterback Matt Ryan still under center and some young building blocks spread out across the roster, we’re more likely to see the Falcons team that went 6-2 to close out last season than we are to see the Falcons team that went 1-7 to open last season.

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Report: Ryan Fitzpatrick to open season as Dolphins’ starting QB

Ryan Fitzpatrick Dolphins
Miami Dolphins fans are going to be anxious to get a glimpse of Tua Tagovailoa when the season begins, but the former Alabama star will have to wait a while before he gets a chance to start. With training camp set to begin in two weeks, all indications are that Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the team’s starting quarterback entering the year.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald was told by a source that there is a “great likelihood” Fitzpatrick will be the Dolphins’ starter in Week 1. The team is not planning to have Tagovailoa take a redshirt year, but it is conceivable that Fitzpatrick could keep the job if the Dolphins play well.

Josh Rosen, who was the subject of trade rumors this offseason, could also enter the mix. Jackson notes that head coach Brian Flores could also turn to Rosen early in the year if Fitzpatrick is struggling and Tagovailoa does not seem ready. Rosen would also be an option if Tagovailoa suffers a setback with his surgically repaired hip.

Most would agree that we are likely to see Tagovailoa starting at some point in 2020. Fitzpatrick played well for the Dolphins last season and helped put the tanking talk to rest, but he is 37 and has hit his ceiling. Miami expects Tagovailoa to be the future of the franchise, and all of the reports about his health have been positive.

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Tua Tagovailoa said to be ‘all systems go’ after Dolphins examine his hip

Tua Tagovailoa

The Miami Dolphins were unable to give Tua Tagovailoa a traditional physical exam prior to the quarterback signing his rookie contract, but they finally got a better look at the former Alabama star this week. By all indications, Tagovailoa’s rehab from hip surgery continues to go swimmingly.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, Tagovailoa was granted permission to visit the Dolphins’ team facility this week because his rehab is deemed medically necessary. Doctors and training staff still believe Tagovailoa is “all systems go.”

That meshes with what Tagovailoa’s physical therapist said recently, which is that Tagovailoa’s recovery from hip surgery has been “miraculous.”

Tagovailoa fractured his hip in November. Had it not been for the injury, he may have been the first overall pick in the draft. He also battled ankle injuries at Alabama, which is why the Dolphins took a risk when they selected him. Despite all that, they are reportedly not committed to having him sit out the entire 2020 season. The news surrounding Tagovailoa’s rehab has been nothing but positive.

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Report: Dolphins open to starting Tua Tagovailoa in his rookie season

Tua Tagovailoa

The Miami Dolphins have the perfect bridge quarterback on their roster in Ryan Fitzpatrick, and his presence should allow them to be patient with Tua Tagovailoa. But if Tagovailoa shows he is ready for the big stage, the Dolphins are not going to force him to take a redshirt year.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald was told by a source that Fitzpatrick is likely to begin the 2020 season as the Dolphins’ starter, but the team is not opposed to playing Tagovailoa at some point. Fitzpatrick was impressive last season and has earned the trust of Miami’s coaching staff, but there will obviously be pressure to give Tagovailoa a shot if Fitzpatrick struggles at all.

As Jackson notes, the shortened offseason will work against Tagovailoa. The No. 5 overall pick has only been able to take part in virtual workouts, so there’s no way he will be as prepared as a rookie quarterback would be in a normal offseason.

Tagovailoa had hip surgery just six months ago, so that could also be a factor in whether or not the Dolphins choose to give him playing time. While he appears to be fully recovered, that is another risk to consider.

Fitzpatrick has every intention of fighting for the starting job, but he has also gone out of his way to mentor Tagovailoa already. He should be a great asset for the Dolphins while they try to groom their next franchise quarterback.

Dolphins owner says there will ‘definitely’ be an NFL season

As major sports leagues continue to explore ways in which they can safely begin or resume their seasons, the NFL community remains confident that there will be football in the fall.

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was asked about the 2020 NFL season during an appearance on CNBC Tuesday morning, and he reassured fans that there will be football. However, it remains unclear if those fans will be able to attend games.

The Dolphins laid out a plan earlier this month that could allow them to host a limited number of fans at Hard Rock Stadium, and some teams may take that approach. Others in different areas of the country may decide to play in empty venues, and at least one team seems to have very little shot of hosting fans unless there are some serious changes in their local government’s policy.

Whatever the case, it would be a surprise if the NFL did not kick off as scheduled in Week 1. If the NBA, NHL and MLB are still planning to proceed with their seasons, time is on the NFL’s side.

Report: Chad O’Shea’s offense was too complex for young Dolphins

Miami Dolphins logo
Chad O’Shea was one-and-down as the offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins, and now we have a better idea why.

The Miami Herald published an article on Wednesday about the Dolphins’ decision to fire O’Shea after one year. The article is worth a read for interested fans.

According to reporters Barry Jackson, Adam H. Beasley, and Armando Salguero, the key issue with O’Shea is that he was running an offense that was too complex for such a young team.

From the article:

One player described the situation on offense last season as a “[expletive] show,” noting O’Shea tried to teach an offense that was too complex for a young team and that teaching/instruction during film study was a “disaster.”

O’Shea came to Miami with Brian Flores from New England, where he had served as the Patriots’ wide receivers coach for a decade. O’Shea apparently was trying to install advanced and complicated elements from the Patriots’ offense to the Dolphins. The feeling is that that approach could work when you have a veteran quarterback like Tom Brady who is one of the most experienced players in the league, but it’s a lot to ask from a young team.

The Dolphins ended up hiring Chan Gailey as their offensive coordinator, and that’s under whom rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will begin his pro career.

Maybe O’Shea didn’t recognize that the players were struggling to grasp the concepts and that was having bad effects. You could also argue that he didn’t have much talent to work with. Whatever the case, he’s now with the Browns as a wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator.

Dolphins officially sign Tua Tagovailoa to rookie deal

Tua Tagovailoa

It’s a done deal: Tua Tagovailoa has signed his rookie deal with the Miami Dolphins.

Tagovailoa has officially signed, according to various reports, and gets a $19.6 million signing bonus that is fully guaranteed.

While a formality, everyone will be happy to see this sorted out. The rookie quarterback is expected to compete for the starting job in Miami with veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick.

We already knew what jersey number Tagovailoa will wear, and it won’t be that of one of the most legendary quarterbacks in league history.

5 NFL teams that have improved the most this offseason

Tom Brady

The bulk of the NFL offseason is essentially over, with almost all the big moves being made and the draft being settled. That means we can really begin to assess who will be good next year and who did well this offseason based on free agency, trades and the draft.

Here are five teams who did the most to get better during an unusual offseason.

5. Indianapolis Colts

The Colts spent the bulk of the offseason retooling their offense, and they certainly look like they’ve succeeded. The biggest move was signing Philip Rivers to a one-year deal. He should immediately upgrade the team’s quarterback play. They also managed to upgrade through the draft despite not having a first-round pick. Adding Michael Pittman Jr. and Jonathan Taylor with the team’s first two picks should help Rivers, and proves that this team means business on the offensive end. They could be a real contender in 2020.

4. Cleveland Browns

The Browns had to fix their offensive line to give quarterback Baker Mayfield a fighting chance in 2020. They did so aggressively, adding Jack Conklin via free agency and Jedrick Wills Jr. tenth overall in the draft. That alone should bolster the offense, as Mayfield struggled to get anything going in part due to the constant pressure he was put under in 2019. Grant Delpit was a great value pick to help the secondary as well. Cleveland’s division got tougher, but the Browns got better, and that’s all they can ask.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

When you can replace Jameis Winston with Tom Brady, you’re getting better. End of story. That move headlined Tampa Bay’s offseason, combined with the rather dramatic return of Rob Gronkowski to the fold. The draft has real potential to propel them forward too. Tristan Wirfs is a great pick who will help Brady stay on his feet, while Antoine Winfield Jr. has the potential to be a sturdy NFL starter. This team is suddenly being talked about as a Super Bowl contender, as any Brady team should. That’s a huge leap forward no matter what.

2. Miami Dolphins

Given the lack of talent on Miami’s roster a year ago, they had nowhere to go but up. With money to spend, though, the Dolphins made the most of it. Miami spent heavy on defense, adding Byron Jones, Shaq Lawson, and Kyle Van Noy to what was the league’s worst unit. They brought in Jordan Howard as a legitimate backfield option. Capping it all off is the selection of Tua Tagovailoa in the draft, along with two offensive linemen to help protect him. 2020 may be a year too soon for the Dolphins, but they’re very clearly on the right track thanks to a great offseason.

1. Arizona Cardinals

Arizona’s acquisition of DeAndre Hopkins was regarded as so lopsided by most in the industry that it effectively put Bill O’Brien on the hot seat. That’s of little concern to the Cardinals, who managed to get one of the game’s best receivers while simultaneously offloading David Johnson’s bloated deal. Devon Kennard was a savvy addition at linebacker, and top draft pick Isaiah Simmons should be one of the most entertaining rookies in the league. There is some concern that they didn’t do enough to address the offensive line, but they added a lot of talent elsewhere that should push them toward .500 or better in 2020.

Brian Flores: Tua Tagovailoa’s virtual pro day was ‘important’

Tua Tagovailoa

How much did Tua Tagovailoa’s virtual pro day help the Miami Dolphins decide to draft him?

According to coach Brian Flores, it was an “important” factor in the team’s decision-making process.

“I mean, it was important,” Flores said, via Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk. “I remember it came out, Chris [Grier] sent it to me, and we were pretty much watching it at the same time. Got on the phone after that and said you know looked pretty good, so it kind of just reinforced or confirmed some of the things that our doctors had mentioned to us. It was important. It was good to see it. He looked good in the tape, but obviously you know that is nine minutes. That is very different from having a two-hour practice or playing in a game so, but I thought he looks good for where he was and you know where he was, where he was when he initially got the injury and where he was at that point.”

The big issue was Tagovailoa’s health after his hip injury. By all accounts, he’s in good shape. Seeing him throw and be mobile — even on video — had to be at least slightly reassuring from the Dolphins’ perspective.