Alabama Football: Miami Dolphins should wait to start Tua


Former Alabama football star Tua Tagovailoa should not begin the 2020 NFL season as the starter for the Dolphins.

“Tank for Tua” became the mantra for Miami Dolphins fans before the 2019 NFL season commenced. Once Alabama football star Tua Tagovailoa suffered a season-ending hip injury in November combined with the booming success of LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, teams cooled on the charismatic, pinpoint accurate passer because of mounting concerns about his injury history at Alabama.

Rumors swelled before the NFL draft. Many expected the Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback to drop in the first round. After serious deliberations in regards to drafting Oregon QB Justin Hebert, the Dolphins selected the lefty with the No.5 overall pick

Dolphins color commentator and radio host, Joe Rose, doubled down on the star potential of Tua,

"“We have a rock star here in Tua. This team has been in mediocrity for so long. It’s lacked the Dan Marino star power, the Ricky Williams star power. Tua’s the next guy in that group.”"

Reenergizing the Dolphins and its dormant fanbase is head coach Brian Flores’ chief task. Finishing in the cellar of the AFC East with a pedestrian 5-11 record, Miami sought a comprehensive overhaul as the offense ranked in the bottom half of the NFL.

Grizzled veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick will start the season as the primary quarterback. Heading into his sixteenth season, Fitzpatrick managed substantial numbers in 15 starts (3,529 yards passing, 20 TDs, 13 ints) for the Dolphins and is a great stop-gap who is eager to mentor the young quarterback.

Rushing to throw Tagovailoa into the blaring spotlight is not the right call for the coaching staff.

Should the Dolphins start him right away?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians weighed in on a redshirt year for Tua while interviewed by an Alabama radio station,100.9 FM,

"I think it all depends on his health; if he’s healthy I’m playing him. I don’t think you learn anything holding a clipboard. You know, I had Peyton Manning his first year, Andrew Luck his first year, Ben [Roethlisberger] was one of those guys that went in by accident because Tommy Maddox got hurt. You miss all the practice reps, you miss the game reps. I don’t know what you learn holding a clipboard watching."

Sitting a year, observing, and learning performed wonders for Patrick Mahomes. He developed into the league MVP and Super Bowl champion.

Alabama football
(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

Aaron Rodgers sat three years before he started his Hall of Fame career.

Dan Marino sat five weeks as a backup before his first start.

Tom Brady didn’t play until an injury forced him into the game in his second season.

Allow Tua the option to grow healthier, stronger, and master the system.

Protect the future face of the franchise.

Tagovailoa can lead the organization for the next decade. Ownership and coaches desire a healthy Tua at the helm with a solid NFL offensive line to protect him, not a patchwork quintet to safeguard their potential franchise QB. It is essential Tua has talented playmakers around him to help take alleviate the pressure on him.

Starting earlier than expected

A redshirt year for Tua Tagovailoa is ideal; however, the Dolphins’ losing record will force him into action earlier than expected in week nine, as fans and the media pressure the organization to play him. Facing off against the dynamic Kyler Murray, and the Arizona Cardinals, Tua will provide stoic leadership, soothing coolness, and radiating confidence that Alabama fans loved for three years.

As his Crimson Tide career showed, Tua oozes the “IT” factor.

As Tagovailoa patiently waited for his turn in Tuscaloosa, expect the same in Miami. Once the rookie touches the field as a starter, he will not relinquish his spot. While it is not fair to compare him to NFL and Miami legend Dan Marino, he will quickly become the next big thing in South Beach.

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Tua Tagovailoa became the first Alabama football quarterback to be drafted in the first round since Richard Todd in 1976. Hopefully, it is not 44 years before another Tide QB goes in the first.