Despite having a pretty average rookie campaign statistically Tua Tagovailoa has been treated to some of the more amazing disrespect by the media this offseason. While some storylines make some sense, like kicking the tyres on Deshaun Watson, the recent claims of an Aaron Rodgers trade make no sense.
While the media need to have their ‘stories’ to generate the eyeballs and the clicks, they should at least make sense in the broad scheme of things. Chris Simms, for example, has never rated Tua that highly which is an opinion he had in college, and now continues. That’s fine, he’s entitled to that opinion and he is at least consistent.
But seeing ESPN tout the Dolphins shipping Tua Tagovailoa and 5 draft picks to Green Bay for Aaron Rodgers makes no sense. We have seen this summer that both coach Flores and Chris Grier have total faith in Tua taking the next step. We’ve seen that in free agency where they added nothing more than a decent backup at the position.
We saw it confirmed in the draft when they continued the process with weapons, trenches, and defence. It all makes sense as one cohesive plan. You don’t suddenly rip that up and trade 5/6 pieces away for a two year run with Aaron Rodgers. That doesn’t pass anyones sniff test.
TUA TAGOVAILOA NOW HAS TO PROVE IT
But now we’re getting down to the nitty grit of the issue: Tua Tagovailoa has to prove it on the field. He had one truly great game against the Cardinals last season. He showed exactly what Miami Drafted and why the coaches have great belief in him.
But 2021 isn’t about belief anymore, now you go on the field and you show all the doubters and the pundits that you ARE that guy. Shove it down their throats but winning games by putting the team on your back because that’s what a top-5 quarterback is for.
You can pick out the good such as the Cardinals game or the late game yards against the Chiefs. Or you can point out the bad like the Broncos, Rams, and Raiders games. But that’s what rookies have. We here at Aqua Thirteen have already said we think this is an 11-6 season, but Tua Tagovailoa can take that to a 12-5 or even a 13-4 team.
This defence is built to win, and can win games with a modicum of help from the offence. We’ve all seen that Tua has way more talent than that. He needs to get out of his head and start playing like he did at Alabama. He now has three top receivers to throw two, and one of the leagues premier receiving tight ends.
And it is mostly in his head. When Tua Tagovailoa was pressured by the blitz in 2020 he completed 65% of his passes for 7 touchdowns and 1 interception. PFF graded Tua 73.4 in those situations, good enough for 18th in the league. AS A ROOKIE.
For those keeping score that’s better than Big Ben, Joe Burrow, Phillip Rivers, Lamar Jackson, and half of the QB’s in the league.
When it was fast and loose and he just trusted what he had to do he excelled. When he had time he got stuck in his head. A year in the playbook, with the coaches, with the players will solve that. So will more weapons and a better line.
So 2021 is the year where Tua Tagovailoa will prove it out on the field one way or another. We’re betting he takes the over and leads this team to it’s first playoff win in over 20 years. This is the time for Tua to prove it.
It’s Tua Time. Expect fireworks.