The Miami Dolphins rocked the NFL this week when they suddenly announced that quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was being benched and they were moving forward with Tua Tagovailoa, their No. 5 overall draft pick in 2020, as the starting quarterback.
In a Palm Beach Post story, Tagovailoa described the moment that he found out he was named the new starter.
Tagovailoa said he got a call from head coach Brian Flores and initially thought it might be a reminder for him to watch film. It was a, “different,” phone call when Flores told him that he was the new starter.
“It’s definitely been a journey,” Tagovailoa said, according to the Palm Beach Post. “I definitely think of that injury, when I got hurt. And then the process leading up to being able to walk, being able to do football drills, and being able to do things in general. I’m definitely blessed to still be here playing the game I grew up dreaming of playing.”
Tagovailoa also called his parents afterwards:
“They were excited,” Tagovailoa recalled. “They didn’t believe me for a little bit. I think my Dad kind of joked about it. Like, ‘Man, after two plays? After two throws they want to put you in?'”
Tagovailoa got a taste of his first NFL action this past Sunday when he went 2-of-2 on Sunday night for nine yards, completing passes to Patrick Laird and Jakeem Grant.
Dolphins fans were vocal about their support for Tagovailoa entering the game.
“Yeah, I definitely could hear it. There’s nothing else playing in the stadium, so I could hear that,” Tagovailoa said. “And that was awesome. But to just be out there with my teammates, being my first time, and getting the support and love from them, I think that was super awesome.
“And then you have a 16-year vet like Fitz, who has no animosity toward it, as well, who’s just been supportive that entire time. Good drive, bad drive, he comes to the sideline and just talks through his process with why he did some things. I’m very fortunate to have a mentor like him who is just very encouraging on the field and then this guy is like he’s just very personable off the field, as well.”