Breaking down the Miami Dolphins’ mixed messages on Tua

New Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel continued his nationwide media tour on Friday with an appearance on Pat McAfee’s YouTube show, where he once again showed off his quick wit and sense of humor and again shared his vision for getting the most out of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

It’s a consistent message from McDaniel, who has publicly marveled at Tua’s accuracy while emphasizing that showing confidence in the quarterback is the starting point in trying to take him to the next stage of his career. development.

McDaniel’s message also seemed to reinforce the idea that perhaps part of the reason the Dolphins hired him was because he convinced the Dolphins brass that he had a plan to get the most out of it. of the 2020 first-round pick in Alabama.

It also reinforced comments GM Chris Grier made to a group of South Florida writers at the combine on Wednesday after he shut the door on a potential trade for Deshaun Watson and said Tua would be the guy heading into the 2022 season.

Check out this comment from Grier on what the Dolphins are seeing in Tagovailoa: “I will say that Mike and the offensive staff watched every game, every pitch and put this roster tape together, and it was pretty cool. Mike’s vision of how Tua fits into this scheme and what he can do, they’re all very excited about it. So I think at the end of the day Tua will probably have to come and work with him and do it on the pitch, but right now there’s a really good level of comfort with how they think he is. integrates into what Mike wants to do with our offense.”

Well, that’s certainly an interesting take, but nowhere near as catchy as his comments when asked if Tua could be an elite quarterback.

“I can’t say he can’t be,” Grier said. “It’s in a situation now where it will be built around his skill set and what attacking can be and Mike’s vision of how he fits in. So I wouldn’t say he doesn’t It’s too early He may have played 20 games Freshman was in and out and missed games this year but I know he won games even the year last, and it’s hard to win games in this league. I know people mean he doesn’t throw the ball down the field, but he’s incredibly accurate, and that’s the most exciting part for Mike and the coaching staff, his accuracy.

Yes, sure, it may be too early to say if Tua WILL be an elite quarterback, but is it really too early to say he CAN be?

Wouldn’t that have been the way to go to put the exclamation mark on the franchise fully supporting their quarterback?

Was it perhaps a matter of Grier not wanting to put high expectations on Tagovailoa? If the answer is yes, we’ll have to disagree because Tua wasn’t selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2020 draft with the idea that he couldn’t be an elite quarterback. On the contrary, it comes with the territory.

Understand that Grier is a soft-spoken, low-key GM who isn’t prone to making big statements, but it’s safe to say no one would have faulted him for saying that, yes, Tua can become a quarterback. – elite rear. It’s not the same as saying that Tua will definitely become the elite, but would someone really have gone back to Grier down the road if he had said yes and things didn’t work out? this way for some reason?

In the grand scheme of things, that probably won’t matter because it’s probably more important that the head coach believes in the quarterback than the general manager, but obviously the ideal scenario would be for everyone to be on board.

As it stands, Grier had already partially gone down this path by ending the Watson trade discussion and declaring that Tua was the man in 2022. Although one could argue that should have been enough to show that Grier is fully behind Tua, it says here. wouldn’t have hurt him to take the extra step.

Jessica C. Bell