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Opinion: The Criticism of Tua is Dumbfounding

Dolphins 49ers Football
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) on the field before an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Scot Tucker)

By Stephen Diener

Fans are a fickle bunch.

One minute they love you and think you’re the greatest thing to ever happen in their lives, and the next minute they think maybe you aren’t so great after all. And it’s no different at this moment with some Dolphins fans and even some in the media.

Tua Tagovailoa was the much celebrated number 5 draft pick for Miami during this past April’s draft and was considered to be the future face of the franchise at quarterback. And that still may very much be the case, the only issue is we haven’t seen him play yet. And because of that, some within the Dolphins fanbase and media are already turning on him.

Fickle, fickle fans.

We are only 5 weeks into this 2020 season and the talk has already begun. “How come Tua hasn’t played yet?” “How come Tua didn’t come in during the blowout win vs the 49ers?” Or my personal favorite, “Man, we should have picked Justin Herbert instead.”

Let me say this loud and clear as to make sure everyone understands…*clears throat*… STOP IT! Take a breather and slow down for a second so we can put all of this nonsense into perspective.

First point. Yes, Justin Herbert did throw 4 td’s last night in a game the Chargers should have won. And yes, he has played well so far. Good for him, but let’s be honest, he would still be riding the pine just like Tua if their team doctor didn’t accidentally stab Tyrod Taylor in the lungs.

And that brings me to my second point.

The fact that Tyrod Taylor was supposed to be the starter is not an indictment on the ability of Herbert, nor is it an indication of the confidence level that his coaches have for him. You know what it is though?


That’s how football works.

Throughout the history of the league, the vast majority of teams who have a good, to serviceable quarterback have always started said QB over the incoming rookie. If a team has a chance to allow their rookie QB to grow and learn from the bench without throwing him into the fire, that is always the better option.

And that is exactly what the Dolphins are doing with Tua, furthermore, it’s exactly what the Chargers would have done with Herbert if Taylor had remained healthy. It is not an indictment on Tua’s ability nor an indication of the coaches confidence in him, it is simply what makes sense for everyone involved.

As badly as I would personally love to see him play, it just doesn’t make sense to rush him out on to the field when Fitzpatrick is playing well enough to win games. Especially considering the hip injury that he suffered last fall at Alabama. Let him continue to develop and be ready when his number is called, because it will be called in due time.

Also, lest we forget that more often than not, the quarterback who had time to develop behind the veteran starter usually ends up being a step above the competition later on. Case in point, Steve Young, Aaron Rodgers, and Patrick Mahomes.

I’m not saying that Ryan Fitzpatrick is Joe Montana, Brett Favre, or even Alex Smith, but he is good enough to win you games with a supporting cast around him.

Brian Flores and the Dolphins are doing the right thing. The smart thing. Tua is the quarterback of the next decade, not the quarterback of 2020, and they understand that.

Which brings me to my final point. You can’t compare apples to oranges if you haven’t tasted the apples yet.

The latest and greatest outrage from fickle fans is that Miami should have chosen Justin Herbert with their 5th overall pick, rather than Tua.

And to that, I politely say this…THAT IS THE MOST ASININE AND MIND NUMBING HOT TAKE I HAVE EVER HEARD!! Please, if you are of this mindset, I implore you to stop being so short sighted in your approach.

There is no rational way to make the point that the Dolphins should have chosen Herbert over Tua when we haven’t even seen Tua play yet!

We have to taste the apples first to find out how they compare to those tasty oranges we just had. If the apples end up being rotten, than yeah sure, you can say the oranges were better, but until we have had a taste of both, you simply can not say that one is better than the other.

Anything else is just a gas bag hot take.

Have some patience and stop being fickle.