Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Taking a shot at greatness is a good sign

The NFL 2020 draft has shown us one thing: that this staff are aiming for greatness. Dolphins fans continue to be divided on the selection of Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa but it’s more important to understand why this pick was made, rather than who the pick was.

While other drafts have looked at the safe option, see Jake Long in 2008, this staff have taken their shots at players who could be great. Are they safe picks? Are they the picks that lead you to mediocrity. No.

Taking a shot at greatness

Obviously Tagovailoa comes with some injury red flags. He’s had multiple ankle surgeries, a broken finger, and a massive hip injury. But he is arguably the best QB talent in this year’s class.

He can make all the throws, he can extend plays, and his arm is the best Dolphins fans will have seen since the greatness of Dan Marino graced South Florida. But Marino himself was a risky pick, coming out of college with rumours of him failing a drug test and being a party boy.

It may not bring you titles, but you can not pass up a chance to draft potential greatness
It may not bring you titles, but you can not pass up a chance to draft potential greatness

But if you think Justin Herbert was the right pick you’re viewing the current NFL all wrong. Patrick Mahomes was a risk. Lamar Jackson was a risk. Andy Dalton was safe. Sam Darnold was safe. And yes, Josh Rosen was safe.

Safe picks blow up just as often as risky ones. Or worse, they turn into anchors around the neck of a franchise that are just too good to let go of, but not good enough to win you Super Bowls.

The Andy Dalton’s, the Derek Carr’s, the Marcus Mariota’s, and the Ryan Tannehill’s are good solid quarterbacks. With the wind at their back and the players around them, they will take you into the playoffs, and may win a game or two.

And while that may seem an improvement on where we are right now, remember how it felt when Jay Fiedler took as to the playoffs consistently. We wanted more. We wanted to win.

Sure we could’ve taken Justin Herbert. Good old reliable Justin Herbert. But the truth is, there will be another Justin Herbert available next year, and the year after. In fact, we could’ve signed Marcus Mariota in free agency and had our average QB before the draft.

If you want a Justin Herbert you can close your eyes and point to an NFL roster and you’ll hit one. Yes there CAN win the big game, but they won’t be the reason you win it. And that is the major difference.

You can have a Trent Dilfer, Brad Johnson, or a Joe Flacco. They’re all over the place, because they’re steady, and solid, and average. But this staff wanted to draft a QB that could win you games, not be along for the ride.

And that should be applauded, whether it works out or not.

Time for a change

This staff isn’t content with mediocrity, they want greatness and they want to win. It’s a team-first approach, sprinkled with high-upside players like Tagovailoa. And even Austin Jackson, and Noah Igbinoghene. Players with ceilings high enough to win multiple Super Bowls.

The Ryan Tannehill era was filled with mediocrity. Every year fans and pundits alike said “this is the year he will make the leap”, but he never did. Last year in Tennessee he looked better, behind one of the best lines in football, with a bulldozer of a back to hand the ball to.

Come the Championship game when the Chiefs shut down Derrick Henry, Tannehill turned the clock back and played like it was 2016. He’s a solid, dependable quarterback. Not one for greatness.

Ryan Tannehill is a safe pair of hands under center...© AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
Ryan Tannehill is a safe pair of hands under center…© AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Will Tua work out and reach his potential? No one knows. All we can do is fans is sit back and enjoy the ride and hope he does. Either way, this draft pick is a total win for the franchise and the fans.

Because once again we are searching for greatness in our players.

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