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A Make It or Break it Year for Tua

Updated: Jun 16

A Make It or Break it Year for Tua

Written by: Dylan Schmittler

Every NFL season provides the top quarterback's questions over whether they can succeed on a field. Whether commanding a huddle, checking into the right play, or good cohesiveness, a good quarterback needs every skill and more to succeed. Most quarterbacks also deal with a certain amount of pressure and expectations to succeed. This year, Miami Dolphins third-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa faces plenty of pressure.

In two seasons, Tua has not lived up to being the No. 5 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The former Alabama star has completed 66.2 percent of his passes for 4,467 yards and 27 touchdowns while throwing 15 interceptions. Last year, Tagovailoa threw 16 touchdowns in 13 games while also throwing 10 interceptions.

While some draft classes are seeing different levels of success for young quarterbacks, the 2020 draft class is already seeing two of its stars shine. Joe Burrow led the Cincinnati Bengals to the Super Bowl while Justin Herbert shines with the Los Angeles Chargers. Herbert was chosen one spot after Miami took Tua in the 2020 draft.

Jalen Hurts, Tua’s former teammate at Alabama, also led the Philadelphia Eagles to the playoffs. Tua has not led Miami to the playoffs in his first two seasons.

Injuries are unfortunately a part of every NFL season. Tua has not been immune from injuries. While in college at Alabama, he suffered a serious hip injury. Last year, Tua dealt with rib and finger injuries.

While some teams like the Green Bay Packers can go 15 years with Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers under center, Miami has been looking to replace Dan Marino. Since Marino retired after the 1999 season, Miami has used 23 different starting quarterbacks.

While some young quarterbacks get to face offensive-minded coaches, Tua has been in a defensive-heavy AFC East. Bill Belichick and Sean McDermott shine even against the best NFL players. Even New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh has shown some defensive prowess in his rookie season as a head coach.

Tua’s former coach, Brian Flores, has got a defensive background. While some teams may like having a defensive leader, today’s NFL is more offensively driven. Three offensively minded coaches, Andy Reid, Bruce Arians, and Sean McVay won the last three Super Bowls.

This year, new Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel will look to get the best out of Miami’s young passer.

While the Pats and Buffalo Bills have enjoyed recent playoff success, Miami has not played in the playoffs since a 2016 AFC Wild Card loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Every NFL team would like to win, but some teams show their neediness with aggressive moves. The Dolphins were aggressive in acquiring Tyreek Hill from the Kansas City Chiefs for five draft picks. The Dolphins also signed Cedric Wilson to join 2021 first-rounder Jaylen Waddle. Miami also added Terron Armstead and Connor Williams to bolster its offensive line. Whether Dolphin fans like it or not, this upcoming will define whether Miami made the right choice in taking Tua.

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