Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has become a somewhat polarizing talent over his first two seasons at the NFL level.
The 24-year-old, who was selected by Miami with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, has his fair share of critics as well as believers.
Stephen A. Smith doesn’t seem to be a believer. The ESPN analyst recently ripped Tagovailoa and didn’t hold back while doing so.
SAS on Tua proving doubters wrong:
"The answer is no. I love Tua the person…. But that miniature size he brings behind center is an impediment to his success…. He's throwing the ball 2 or 3 yards at a time. He rarely throws the ball downfield."
This is statistically false.
— Five Reasons Sports 🏀🏈⚾️🏒⚽️ (@5ReasonsSports) March 24, 2022
Whether Smith likes it or not, the Dolphins’ plan is for Tagovailoa to begin the 2022 season as their starting quarterback. The youngster has clearly shown the Dolphins enough for the team to want another season of him leading the offense.
In his rookie season, Tagovailoa appeared in 10 games. He completed 64.1 percent of his passes for 1,814 yards and 11 touchdowns, throwing five interceptions along the way.
During his sophomore campaign, the University of Alabama product played in 13 games. He completed 67.8 percent of his passes for 2,653 yards and 16 touchdowns. He was picked off 10 times.
Tagovailoa had some very impressive games during the 2021 season. Arguably his most impressive stretch started in Week 11 and ended after Week 13. During that three-game span, he completed a whopping 80.0 percent of his passes for 747 yards and five touchdowns, throwing just one interception during those games.
The Dolphins would obviously love to see that version of Tagovailoa going forward. The team has done a nice job of adding some key pieces so far this offseason, and the hope is that Tagovailoa will flourish during the 2022 season with many new talented players on the roster.