Alabama Football: Tua prepped for a sophomore surge


Alabama football’s Tua Tagovailoa has everything set for 2021

Tua Tagovailoa had a solid rookie season with the Miami Dolphins, but he needs to take the next step. The good news is that the former Alabama football quarterback has what it takes to thrive in his second NFL season.

Plenty of NFL players have sophomore slumps, but there are a few things working in Tagovailoa’s favor. The most important factor is that he will have an entire offseason to prepare. Last year, COVID-19 took away a lot of opportunities to learn how to be an NFL quarterback. He missed out on minicamps and a preseason. Also, he was still recovering from his hip injury. Now that he is fully healthy, he can prepare properly.

Also, the Dolphins invested in his future this offseason. They added multiple offensive linemen from free agency, and they also drafted Liam Eichenberg to play right tackle. They signed Will Fuller to a one-year deal at receiver, and they drafted Jaylen Waddle in the first round. This will pair Tua with one of his former receivers from his Alabama football days.

The best part of Tua’s sophomore year will be the lack of competition. Last season, he had Ryan Fitzpatrick in his quarterback room. This was valuable for a rookie quarterback, but the Dolphins repeatedly put Fitzpatrick back in games for the sake of winning. This hurt Tagovailoa’s progress.

This season, Tua’s backup will be Jacoby Brissett. This means that Tua will still have a veteran backup, but he won’t have to worry about anyone taking his job in the middle of the season. He’ll have a full year to grow and prove himself as Miami’s starting quarterback.

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Fit matters in the NFL. Teams have given up on quarterbacks prematurely, and other quarterbacks have failed due to the lack of weapons. That won’t be a problem for Tua, and he will finally have a chance to thrive in the NFL.