Tua Gets the Start in Preseason Scrimmage
The Miami Dolphins held their first team scrimmage this week, and with the first team offense came Tua Tagovailoa. Tagovailoa was forced to step in for Ryan Fitzpatrick after the 15-year vet had to exit the scrimmage due to the passing of his mother earlier in the day.
“I told Fitz that I’m here for him,” Tagovailoa said. “But it was something more so emotional for me, too, because I kind of thought of my own mom, and just the thought of not having a family member, losing a family member, I mean, that’s – it’s hard. Being given that circumstance, being told that I have to be ready to go out with the first group today, it wasn’t something that I was nervous to do, but it was more so I kind of felt what, I would say, kind of what Fitz was going through. I got emotional when Fitz ended up leaving, too, and while we were about to pray as a team.”
Without Fitzpatrick, the offense was left up to Tagovailoa and Josh Rosen. Though not prepared to take first team reps, Tagovailoa performed relatively well for a rookie in his first type of game scenario. The former Alabama signal caller went 13-23 for 119 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions, while Rosen was 11-24 for 143 yards with one touchdown and one pick.
When asked after the scrimmage about his performance, Tagovailoa said, "My play isn't where I want it to be. I think there was some good today. There were also some not so good. But I think it was a learning curve for me and a lot of the rookies. There’s some things we need to clean up offensively on my end and just things in general with the communication."
Coach Brian Flores was impressed with performance of his QBs saying, "I think when you don’t see a bunch of touchdowns scored or big passes, you start to think the quarterback’s not playing well. That’s not the case. Honestly, I thought those guys -- I thought there was good communication, I thought we were in and out of the huddle, turnovers were down, so those are the things that are important and give us a chance to keep the game tight.”
Overall, Tagovailoa seems to have performed about as anyone would expect a rookie QB to perform in his first game-like situation. It is unknown when Ryan Fitzpatrick will return to the team, but Flores was clear that there was "no QB controversy". As for the second-string spot, Flores said, “And I know what the next question is: Hey, is it this guy or this guy? And I would say that’s yet to be determined.”