Tua Ready and Will Compete for Starting Job
Tua is ready and will get a chance to compete for the starting job in his first training camp.
Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores made it official Wednesday when he addressed reporters via a Zoom conference call.
While it's a great headline, we have to be honest and tell you there's nothing overly surprising about this.
First, the health of Tua no longer was in question when he reported to camp and was NOT placed on PUP — the way cornerback Xavien Howard was — because that meant he passed his physical.
This also is consistent with every report we got throughout the offseason and into the summer about Tagovailoa's remarkable recovery from the hip injury that cut short his 2019 season at the University of Alabama.
Here's another hint we already had gotten, the Dolphins waiving quarterback Jake Rudock over the weekend. It's hard to believe the Dolphins would have left themselves with three quarterbacks on the roster had there been questions about when Tua would be ready.
As for the bigger question of Tagovailoa being able to compete for the starting job instead of incumbent Ryan Fitzpatrick being the man, this is consistent with Flores' approach since the time he took over as Dolphins head coach.
Like, did anybody really expect Flores to publicly declare that Fitzpatrick would be his starting quarterback on opening day no matter what (health issues aside, of course) or that Tua would be given the start?
That's just not the Flores way.
And that's the way it should be.
So what's going to happen if the Dolphins coaching staff will do some careful evaluating once practices begin and then Flores will decide who will take the first snaps when the regular season opens at Gillette Stadium on Sept. 13.
As we've said all along, Tua clearly has a shot to become the opening-day starting quarterback if he proves he's ready for the challenge, but Flores again was quick to temper expectations.
“We’re going to ask him to do the same as every other player — to come in every day, having gone over the install the night before, mentally prepare to go out there and practice, physically prepare to go out there and try to improve every day," Flores said. "That’s all we can ask of the players, and try to keep it one day at a time, and keep the meetings to the walk-through, the walk-throughs into the individual period, the individual period to the group periods, the group periods into the team periods and just take things one step at a time.
I know there’s a lot of people wanting to talk about Tua. I understand it. But at the same time, he’s a young player. This is his first NFL training camp. He’s got to take it one day at a time, and not think about what’s realistic for the season. I think we have to take a one-day-at-a-time approach, which has been my message to him and it’s not just him, it’s every player on this team."