The Miami Dolphins 2020 season ended on a sour note with a loss to Buffalo. Preventing head coach Brian Flores team from advancing to the postseason. Despite the loss to the Bills, the Dolphins have turned a corner and can continue around it with an outstanding defense and an offense led by QB Tua Tagovailoa. So, is it still Tua Time in Miami?
As the 2020 regular season ended, there were reports of a Tagovailoa-for-Deshaun-Watson trade in the works. Despite Watson’s unhappiness with the general manager hire in Houston, his problems will not affect Tagovailoa’s situation in Miami. Flores and Dolphins will continue to build a winner and do so around their quarterback.
A New OC
Miami offensive coordinator Chan Gailey decided to retire at the end of the regular season. That leaves Flores with the task of finding an offensive coordinator that will fit in with his philosophy. One that is a skilled play-caller, and one that can nurture a young quarterback.
The list of potential candidates begins with two members of the current Dolphins staff – QB coach George Godsey and RB coach Eric Studesville. Godsey had an unsuccessful run as Houston’s OC and Studesville has never been a coordinator.
Pittsburgh QB coach Matt Canada is another favorite though the Steelers might retain him now that their OC Randy Fichtner will not return. Canada’s offense uses lots of motion and deception, which can provide an effective running game to bolster Tagovailoa’s passing game. Regardless of who gets the job, one of the core responsibilities will be the development of the young Miami quarterback.
Flores Reaffirms Support for Tua
When asked after the season about his quarterback, Flores had nothing but praise for the former first-round pick. “A lot of attention gets paid to Tua,” Flores said. “But, I thought he made a lot of improvement over the course of the season. I’m excited about the future with him.”
Other high-profile rookie quarterbacks like Chargers starter Justin Herbert and Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow had very good statistical seasons, leaving many to question Tagovailoa’s performance. Those questioning might want to take a look at the Dolphins overall record, 10-6, and the team’s record, 6-3, with their rookie under center.
Tua’s Year 2
Flores has stated that Year 2 is extremely important for Tua and the Dolphins. Tagovailoa finished his rookie season with 11 touchdowns, five interceptions, and a mediocre 6.3 yards per pass attempt (YPA). Those critical of Tua’s initial season might want to remember that Buffalo’s Josh Allen initial season. Allen completed just 53 percent of his passes threw more interceptions (12) than touchdowns (10) and also had an average YPA number of 6.5.
Critics of Tagovailoa might also want to remember that Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill thought reigning Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes was “trash” when he was a rookie. Hill’s opinion of his quarterback has likely changed. So when you ask is it still Tua Time? I’d say so!