Ryan Fitzpatrick on Tua Tagovailoa: ‘There are a million different throws that he makes that I can’t’

Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tua Tagovailoa Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick currently serves as the team’s starting quarterback, but he knows that rookie signal-caller Tua Tagovailoa’s passing ability already surpasses his own talent.

The 37-year-old Fitzpatrick is in his 16th NFL season and has seen plenty of quarterbacks over the years, but he marvels at Tagovailoa’s athletic skills. He spoke about the rookie on Adam Schefter’s podcast.

“There are a million different throws that he makes that I can’t,” Fitzpatrick said. “Just watching him practice and all that, he’s going to be a great player. For me, I’m going to continue to go out there and do my job for as long as they want me to.”

Fitzpatrick is serving as a mentor for Tagovailoa and has made a strong connection with the rookie, which should make for a smooth transition when Tagovailoa eventually takes over the starting role.

A veteran connecting with a player who’s being groomed for that player’s position is a relationship that doesn’t always go smoothly.

Yet, Fitzpatrick has become Tagovailoa’s biggest supporter and raves about both his talent and the work ethic that the rookie already possesses.

“I’ve been around for a while and seen a lot of young guys,” Fitzpatrick said. “The two things that pop out to me about him are his accuracy and being able to throw with anticipation. And those two things, especially the anticipation part, is something that guys usually have to come into the league to learn and figure out, and he does a great job of that [already].

“Those are the two things that have really popped out to me so far. And then, the other thing is his willingness to work and his willingness to ask questions, and his overall personality and how people tend to gravitate towards him because of the kind of guy is he off the field.”

The 2020 season is one in which the Dolphins are hoping that Tagovailoa can learn the game on the sidelines so that he’s fully prepared to become their quarterback of the future.

When that occurs, Fitzpatrick will likely be offering some of the loudest cheers.