Anonymous Dolphins Players Speak Against Team Having Tua Tagovailoa As The QB in 2021

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

This is not going to play well going into the 2021 season.

Just last week, Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said Tua Tagovailoa will be the team’s starting quarterback in 2021, but that statement is not playing well in the team’s locker room.

Speaking anonymously, three Dolphins players told the Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero they didn’t see enough from the fifth overall draft pick this season to have confidence in him as their starter moving forward.

“I understand what (Grier and head coach Brian Flores) said,” one player said. “But I don’t understand why.”

Via the report:

“They said they were unimpressed by Tagovailoa during training camp to the point they thought he wouldn’t be ready to play in 2020. They said they were “caught totally off guard,” as one put it, when Tagovailoa was named the starter the seventh game of the season.

And another said that before the season finale when players were informed by Flores that Ryan Fitzpatrick would not be available against the Buffalo Bills, he was disappointed because he believes Fitzpatrick was better than Tagovailoa. …

One defensive player said he isn’t impressed with Tagovailoa’s ball velocity or arm strength or ability to make off-schedule plays with his legs. So he ultimately questions whether Tagovailoa will ever be able to match the feats of other quarterbacks in the AFC such as Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson.

“Those are the boys we got to beat, right?” this player said. “It looks right now like that’s going to be a big challenge.”

An offensive player said he likes Tagovailoa a lot as a teammate and is hopeful he becomes “great someday.”

But that same player added he “got frustrated” when Flores told the team Fitzpatrick would not be available for the season finale against Buffalo.

“We always think next man up no matter what,” the player said. “But I saw Tua as the next man up because Fitz was better.”

Tagovailoa totaled 1,814 passing yards with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions in 10 appearances this season after being selected No. 5 overall in the 2020 NFL draft.

Veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who had been benched suddenly for Tua, actually had fewer pass attempts in 2020 than Tua but had more yards and touchdowns while also having a much better QBR (77.3 versus 52.9).