Monday, October 3, 2022

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Why Tua Tagovailoa May Never Thrive With Miami Dolphins; And It’s Not The O-Line, Injuries, Or Talent

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The 24 month long Carnival of Hate Festivities continue from the media and fans towards Tua Tagovailoa. It’s no longer news and is already old. By the way, Tua isn’t currently playing football right now; but the addiction like a child with a sweet tooth in a candy shop to criticize him is so strong that it still continues this second. I challenge you.

As you read this article, type Tua in Twitter’s search engine and scroll to find mean tweets about him. It won’t take you long. Go ahead. If you were thinking it then yeah, he would need a week on Jimmy Kimmel to read his “mean tweets,” and maybe longer. Twitter isn’t the only place you can find negative comments about Tua. Facebook and other social media outlets are also filled with Tua’s critics.

In Tua Tagovailoa’s young NFL career, he has played an entire total of not 17 full games.. not 16 full games…not even 12 full games…no, not 10 full games…not even 9…but a total of only 8 full NFL games from start to finish…1st quarter to the end of 4th quarter in his entire NFL career. By 8 full games, that is Tua playing those games without being taken out or coming into a game, playing the entirety of a full NFL game as the lone quarterback of the team in a game.

Out of those 8 games all kinds of things have been said about him by media and fans: “He’s a bust. He’s not good enough. He’s to small. He’s injury prone. He won’t make it. Miami should’ve drafted Justin Herbert. Tua got fractured ribs so I’m done with him. Miami needs to trade for Deshaun Watson, etc…”

Those 8 full games that Tua has only played in are important. Why? Because it leaves no question to what the game would be like if Tua had stayed in the entire game or what the game would be like if Tua had started the game instead of finishing it.

However, there is an entire generation of a fanbase and media personalities that are writing Tua Tagovailoa off as not being the future of the Miami Dolphins after only playing 8 full games in his entire NFL career. After Tua suffered fractured ribs the second game of the season this year, the Deshaun Watson camp got louder. The media has picked up rumors again that the Miami Dolphins were interested in Watson with unnamed sources. And fans have suggested that Watson would’ve never gotten injured the second game of the season and would be the one to win games for the Dolphins.

The problem with the media and fans’ takes on Deshaun Watson going to the Miami Dolphins is that first, it is only a rumor and most likely has never been true since “sources” have never been able to be named because they are probably either not real or not reliable enough to actually be true. If any of this has been true after several months, then someone somewhere out of all of the sources would most likely already have come forward to officially confirm that this was true.


The truth is that what has officially been confirmed is that a top Miami Dolphins executive named Dan Marino, who helps make decisions by consultations and giving advice to the team, especially concerning quarterbacks, as well as sitting in quarterback meetings, has officially confirmed on national radio that he has never had a discussion about Deshaun Watson coming to Miami at all.

On the same program he also said, “Tua has been their guy and Miami is going to stick with him”, which was on the Tiki and Tierney radio show this past August. That is what has officially been confirmed, not the other way around.

So fans can keep believing and sharing media’s fabricated takes for clicks that Miami is interested in getting Deshaun Watson until their faces turn blue by holding their breath waiting for it all they want. But the reality is that will most likely never ever happen in the near future because it most likely was never true to begin with. Even as late as Wednesday of this past week, a Fox Sports personality suggested that Miami is a team that make sense as a front runner for Watson.

Sadly, people will continue saying it was true months even after reading this article despite that months later, Watson will still most likely not be part of the Miami Dolphins team. And if it is true, then what happens with that situation further supports the core of this very article, so read on.

So, what about those fans that believe if the Miami Dolphins had Deshaun Watson as their quarterback that he would not have been injured the second game of the season the way Tua was? Those are the fans that are out of tune with real life and actually what goes on in the NFL. The truth is that in real life and what has actually happened in the NFL is that Deshaun Watson never made it to even 7 full games in his NFL career before getting injured and having to miss the rest of, not just 3 games or a few more, but the rest of his entire NFL rookie season.

As far as avoiding sacks as fans claim Watson is able to do where Tua isn’t, for the record, in Watson’s first 8 full games of his career he was sacked a whopping 25 times. Disregarding Watson’s games started where he didn’t finish, but counting only his first full 8 games of his NFL career, Deshaun Watson’s record as an NFL starting quarterback was 2-6. No, that wasn’t from his losing record last season of 4-12, that was from his rookie season and entering his second season.

Another media and fan based debate is that the Miami Dolphins should’ve drafted Justin Herbert instead of Tua Tagovailoa. Again, for the record, as far as Justin Herbert’s stats goes, he may have been able to throw a lot of passing yards to receivers that have already collected several 1,000 yard seasons prior with over 500 attempts in 15 games but he didn’t have the ability to get the important stat, which was to win football games as a starting quarterback.

In Justin Herbert’s first 8 full games, he only won one game and that win was against the worst team in the NFL during 2020, the Jacksonville Jaguars who won only one game the entire season. By the way, Justin Herbert threw at least one interception except in three games for his first 8 games…and yes, there were more than five.

The one thing that makes me cringe every time I hear the phrase is the term injury prone. I don’t like the use of the word in football because it gives a false impression that only certain players can be injured multiple times. Actually, every single NFL football player on planet earth has the potential to be injured several times. If they didn’t have that potential, to be injured (which is what prone to injury truly is), then no NFL player would be required to wear shoulder pads, knee pads, chest pads, and helmets for their heads. No football player is invincible at anytime, even being invincible multiple times from injury.

But don’t take my word for it. Let’s take a doctor’s word for it. Dr. Ed Porras, who specializes in orthopedics and injury recovery wrote the two part article entitled, Injury prone is a lie. If you have never read those articles, I suggest you read them. My translation of his first article in a paraphrased form is that if you take Tua’s injuries for instance, (which he didn’t mention in the article) would be basically that Tua’s hip injury won’t result in him getting another injury in the future such as fractured ribs, which isn’t injury prone since they are two different types of injuries in two different locations of the body.

As far as fandom goes, there have been many in the Dolphins fandom that have made comments that other quarterbacks would have withstood the ribcage injury Tua took. They have said other quarterbacks would have gotten up without injuring their ribs because they have taken hits before and gotten up. The problem with that fallacy is a lack of understanding about preciseness. For example, you can say two people gets shot. One dies and the other gets up. Why? One was shot in the leg. The other was shot in the head.

And it is almost certain that quarterbacks that have gotten up from being hit a different way than Tua was hit would not get up if all of the body parts were hit the same way Tua was hit. If the hit is precisely the same exact hit and location at the same precise speed, then most likely that quarterback will suffer fractured ribs as well, no matter how small or big you are.

No, size has nothing to do with getting hurt in the NFL. Just ask 6’6″ 243 pound Nick Foles or 6’5″ 240 pound Ben Roethlisberger who have been injured several times after a big hit. Football is a violent contact sport to any person who plays the game.

So why are fans eager to write off Tua Tagovailoa after only 8 full unproven NFL games? There are a couple of reasons this may be. The first reason is the type of generation we are currently living in. This is the John Madden video game generation of fans who play video games that give players the ability to stop playing in the middle of the game if they are losing, restart the game, or even a season with possibly selecting a new quarterback.

And sometimes because of this, it begins to become to easy to confuse fantasy and what is actually reality. They believe a $30 million dollar investment is not worth seeing at least 9 full football games and an investment in a quarterback who had past success but is never a guarantee of future success is worth all the investment they have.

Because this is a generation of an instant society, patience is no longer a virtue that is valued anymore. Whereas 30 years ago people had to wait almost a year for a network to broadcast a major motion picture that was once only in a theater, people today can pay a premium to stay home and watch a movie the same day it is released in a theater.

Microwaving processed food saves the hassle of prepping and cooking healthy meals. And screaming to get rid of young quarterbacks with winning records for quarterbacks with superior stats but have losing records seems to be instant gratification and a fix all. In all actuality, many of today’s young NFL football fans would not been able to handle the NFL 50 years ago, where many players stayed on the same team for years, despite how bad they were or how many times they were injured.

So the fanbase and even the media proclaiming that Tua needs to go because they think he is not durable enough for the NFL after only 8 full games are impatient. They can’t endure until the end to see the final product. Yes, those are the fans that ironically, as they call Tua, have no durability. That means lack of endurance. And yes, unfortunately for those fans and media personalities, it is also a sign of weakness. That is what not being able to endure is, no strength but weak. Yes, I just said a very strong and powerful truth.

Then there are those fans and media personalities that wrote Tua off before he even started his first game for the Miami Dolphins. This is the I told you so camp. It is also the I hate Tua camp. These fans and media personalities have the same rhetoric they have had for over a year. It’s the same murmuring and complaining that we keep hearing day in and day out. This is nothing more than Miami Dolphins fans hating former Dolphins coach Nick Saban and any product that he produces that comes out of Alabama.

Just look at history. Alabama players from the Nick Saban era that played for the Miami Dolphins haven’t thrived well for the team and have fared better elsewhere. There is a reason Minkah Fitzpatrick and Kenyan Drake weren’t necessarily happy with the Miami Dolphins. Certainly Drake wasn’t happy with the way he was utilized and believed his talent was being wasted. Minkah Fitzpatrick is now ridiculed by Dolphins fans because he didn’t like the fact that they wanted him to learn how to play a linebacker’s position when he was a cornerback.

Yeah, how would Xavien Howard feel about that if it were him? Just imagine. But Fitzpatrick has been ridiculed by the Miami Dolphins fanbase ever since getting his wish to be traded. As long as Fitzpatrick was going to stay there, he was not going to thrive. I would not be surprised if within a few seasons, Raekwon Davis is successfully performing for another NFL team besides the Dolphins.

Nick Saban’s wife has come out and publicly said that one of the reasons they wanted out of Miami and the NFL is because of how the Miami and even perhaps national sports media treated him. Now, Tua Tagovailoa is treated no differently from the harshness and cruelty coming from the media. Miami Dolphins fans have consistently complained and hated Nick Saban ever since he left the Dolphins.

The complaints don’t just stem from the fib he told about not becoming Alabama’s coach. But it comes from choosing Daunte Culpepper over Drew Brees. Yes, that was the same Deshaun Watson thing that didn’t work back then and it won’t work now.

Yes, Culpepper led the NFL in passing yards prior to coming to the Dolphins just like Watson led the NFL in passing yards last season. And at 6’4″, 260 pounds, Culpepper was much bigger than Watson. But after only four games, Daunte Culpepper was placed on the injured reserve and never played another game for the Miami Dolphins in his entire NFL career. By the way, Dree Brees also suffered fractured ribs last season, but was still able to come back and lead the New Orleans Saints to the playoffs.

So my question to the Miami fanbase is, how did the impatience with Nick Saban after only two seasons pan out? Sure, he’s missed on recruits in college the way he may have missed on Brees, with some of those recruits turning out to be Heisman winners. However, eventually he got his guy and as a result, 6 more National Championships.

Would the one time Bill Belichick apprentice have eventually helped GMs land the right players in Miami that would’ve led to the Super Bowl? We will now never know. And now, the potential is presenting itself that after only entering his second season, we might never know if Tua will lead the Dolphins to a Super Bowl…if the same type of media circus, fan impatience exists and if the GM pushes him over to another team.

There is a saying that if you keep doing the same thing over and over and are expecting different results that it is called insanity. Since Chris Grier has been the General Manager for the Miami Dolphins, there have been at least over four starting quarterbacks for the Miami Dolphins.

Now, that Tua has only played 8 games, is the same insane process going to continue by not allowing Tua to develop into the quarterback that he has the potential to be for the Miami Dolphins or are the fans going to keep pushing and pushing to get a quick-fix like a junkie addicted to heroin and get Deshaun Watson until it finally happens? And then have that regret when it does happen?

It’s not that Tua has a lack of talent that will not cause him not to thrive in Miami. He has talent and there have already been flashes of it. It’s not the injuries that will not cause Tua not to thrive in Miami. Several quarterbacks have been injured, several times, and have came back to be successful. It’s not even the offensive line being bad that won’t cause him to thrive in Miami. He will eventually be able to adjust.

I’m not saying Tua Tagovailoa won’t be successful nor thrive in Miami. I hope he does. And honestly, if given the chance, he will. But if he is unable to, it won’t be because of the reasons I listed above. If Tua doesn’t thrive as a quarterback in Miami, it will be because of the pressure put on Chris Grier to do something different than to have Tua as the quarterback for Miami, even though Grier has consistently said fans and players don’t make decisions for him.

It will only be because of the constant pressure and criticism placed on Tua from the media and impatient fans that are acting like spoiled brats who think they are entitled to always get their way and complain with a multitude of reasons when they don’t.

But if Tua doesn’t thrive in Miami because of the media and critical fanbase, it will be only fitting that the Dolphins fan base doesn’t deserve Tua Tagovailoa. And if that’s the case, for Tua’s sake, he will find himself on a fanbase that appreciates him. And perhaps he will bring that team a Super Bowl as the Dolphins wait for the next round of quarterbacks to see what they have in only 8 games.

Hopefully, that won’t be the case for the Dolphins. Hopefully, the fanbase and media will calm down, be patient, and let the process work. And then, and only then will Tua be able to thrive for the Miami Dolphins.

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