Miami Dolphins Coaching Staff Needs This From Tua Tagovailoa to Hand Him Keys to Offense

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Tua Tagovailoa will eventually become the Miami Dolphins’ starting quarterback, but before that happens in 2020 the rookie has to show the team’s coaching staff that he fully understands the offense and excels during practice.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald assessed how long Tagovailoa figures to be on the sidelines, while  veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick handles the team’s offense.

“A source in touch with the Dolphins said that while the great likelihood is that Ryan Fitzpatrick will open the season as the starter, the Dolphins are open-minded about playing Tagovailoa if he shows command of the offense and consistently impresses in practice and if the team isn’t performing well under Fitzpatrick,” Jackson wrote. “They aren’t going into the season with a plan to definitely redshirt Tua, barring some health setback.”

While Tagovailoa will inevitably take the reins from Fitzpatrick, the Dolphins aren’t in a rush to get him on the field.

That patience is partly based on Tagovailoa getting back to full health following an injury-plagued 2019 season at the University of Alabama.

Another reason is that if Fitzpatrick is thriving and the Dolphins are winning, there’d be no reason to upset the team’s momentum.

The 37-year-old Fitzpatrick has 15 years of NFL experience under his belt and will serve as a mentor to Tagovailoa. However, at some point, his production on the field will start to diminish.

If that slide by Fitzpatrick takes place this season, the possibility also exists that Josh Rosen could take over under center. That decision will likely be tied to how well Rosen is performing in practice.

Rosen may also see the field if the Dolphins are losing, Tagovailoa has problems grasping the offense, or the rookie’s health again becomes a question.

Tagovailoa has eagerly embraced the arduous work ethic required of quarterbacks, which may help expedite his learning curve. Also, the rookie is brimming with plenty of self-confidence.

Right now, Fitzpatrick figures to be starting under center for the scheduled Sept. 13 opener against the New England Patriots.

However, it reportedly is expected that Tagovailoa will be the quarterback on the field during the latter portion of the campaign.

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Brad is a freelance writer for and has been around long enough to remember the 1972 perfect season, and even when Don Shula was coaching the Colts. He still follows the Dolphins and other happenings in the NFL, so he can offer a little perspective when it comes to the ups and downs of each season. Some of his opinions may end up differing from the people who read them, but that's par for the course when it comes to life in South Florida.