Tua Testimonials: Fitz Not the Only One High on QB

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has his share of supporters around the NFL

Ryan Fitzpatrick's comments about Tua Tagovailoa already have made the rounds, but he's not the only supporter of the young Miami Dolphins quarterback.

Former Atlanta Falcons and UCLA head coach Jim Mora Jr. actually recruited Tagovailoa out of high school and is also a big fan.

"I’m surprised that there's questions in Miami about Tua," Mora said. "We have to remember that he was a rookie, that he was coming off of an injury at Alabama. I think he's got tremendous potential."

Mora brought up his experience working with Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh when the two were with the 49ers (Mora as DB coach and defensive coordinator, Walsh as GM, vice president and consultant) and the attributes that Walsh sought in quarterbacks.

"He was looking for accuracy; I think Tua has the ability to throw with accuracy," Mora said. "He was looking for mobility; Tua certainly has mobility. And when Bill talked about mobility, he didn't just talk about the ability to get out and make yards down the field. He talked about pocket mobility, the ability to stay behind the line of scrimmage, work in the pocket, work out of the pocket, and still make throws down the field.

"He talked about leadership; I think watching Tua at Alabama, he showed leadership ability. Now, he has grab the reins in Miami, which he will through time and show that he can be a leader at this level as well. He shows toughness, another trait of Bill’s. And then, interestingly enough, number 5 on this list was always arm strength, the ability to just rifle it in there. You think about some of the quarterbacks that he had, particularly Joe Montana. Joe Montana never was known for having great arm strength, but he had accuracy through timing. He could anticipate coverage, he anticipated breaks and put the ball where it was supposed to be, when it was supposed to be there. And I think Tua can do those things as well. 

"I'm a guy that thinks Tua has a high ceiling. I'm a guy that would stick with Tua if I was the Miami Dolphins. They made a huge investment in him, and I think it'll pay off down the road as long as he can stay healthy.”

Fitzpatrick also had high praise for Tua during his appearance on the Russ Tucker Podcast when he used the word "elite."

Fitzpatrick, of course, got to work closely with Tagovailoa last season before he signed with the Washington Football Team as an unrestricted free agent.

"The two things that really stick out to me about Tua," Fitzpatrick said, "is I think he has elite accuracy, and that's very important. And I think he's going to learn from last year, he's going to learn through this offseason, he's got some continuity with George Godsey and Eric Studesville as coordinators now, where to go with the ball, how to eliminate things pre-snap to really be able to unleash that elite accuracy. And then he throws with anticipation. And that's something that's difficult that you don't see a lot with quarterbacks coming from college to the NFL.

"I'm a huge Tua fan. My kids love Tua. Sometimes they play with him on Madden, sometimes they play with me. But I'm looking forward for big things from him. I think he's going to do great and just in terms of being a leader on a team and a guy that people can follow, he has all those qualities. I think we just need to have a little bit of patience. He was a rookie last year and I think he's going to do great things."