Alabama Football: Tua Tagovailoa bashing is ridiculous


Former Alabama Football star, Tua Tagovailoa is a hot item this week. The young man spoke about his current physical condition and made some candid comments about his performance last season.

As far as his health, Tua said the hip he injured when Alabama Football played Mississippi State in 2019, now feels fine. Tua stated the surgically repaired hip feels,

"10 times better than last year"

Though healthy enough to play as an NFL rookie, without risking further injury, Tua’s hip surgery recovery was not 100 percent. The Dolphins brought him along slowly, sticking with Ryan Fitzpatrick as the starter early in the season. Tagovailoa ended up starting nine games. The Dolphins were 6-3 with Tua as the starter. He completed 64.1 percent of his passes good for 1,814 yards and 11 touchdowns. Given the doubt he must have had about his hip, his modest 2020 production can be discounted.

Alabama Football success not enough for Tua

Tua must play better in the coming season. No one knows that better than he and his coaches. He was not satisfied with his rookie season performance and he has some doubters to disprove. He spoke honestly about struggling last season, not being fully comfortable or knowledgeable enough to override play calls in a streamlined offense.

"I just didn’t have the comfortability of kind of checking plays, alerting plays … I just rode with the play even if I knew in a way that it wasn’t going to work. I was going to try to make it work still. …I didn’t actually know the playbook necessarily really, really good, and that’s on no one else’s fault but my fault. Our play calls were simple when I was in. I didn’t have alerts and checks whereas now, feeling more comfortable, I can kind of maneuver my way through these things now."

The comments opened a flood gate of criticism. Tim Hasselbeck jumped all over Tua’s comments.

"That should never, ever, ever happen with a quarterback, a guy that’s drafted in the first round that’s going to be the guy. I get it, the offseason was weird, it was hard, but I don’t want to hear Joe Burrow or anybody else talking about, ‘Hey, I didn’t learn the playbook.’ That, to me, is bad."

Not to quibble but Tua did not say he “didn’t learn the playbook.” What he said was he did not know the playbook well enough to regularly change calls. That weakness must be shed, but the former Alabama Football superstar does not have a work ethic issue. Neither does he have an intelligence deficiency.

Some people read Tua’s comments and jumped to conclusions. His NFL Combine Wonderlic score of 18 was presented as evidence of a less than a sharp mind. That claim is nonsense. The Dolphins great QB, Dan Marino scored 15 on the Wonderlic. Other NFL starting QBs have done worse. The test’s ability to measure brain power has long been in question.

Tua probably should have been less candid. But to suggest he is not smart enough to be a star NFL QB is not warranted. The only sensible conclusion is Tua needs to play better and talk less.

Next. Bryce Young will be Heisman candidate. dark

The talk about Tua’s Wonderlic score resembles an older story about Tua from early in his Alabama Crimson Tide career. On a message board, one fan asked if there would be a ‘language’ problem with Tua as QB. It is not known what language the fan thought was spoken in Hawaii.