The Dolphins were eventually going to hand the franchise over to Tua Tagovailoa, but given the fact that Miami is 3-3 on the year, most believed Miami would stick with Ryan Fitzpatrick for as long as he could keep the team afloat.
Fitzpatrick has done more than keep this Dolphins team relevant, they’re second in the AFC East six games into the season, so it was a bit of a surprise when Miami announced that Tagovailoa would be taking over as starting quarterback following the team’s bye this week.
Head coach Brian Flores was asked about his switch at quarterback on Wednesday and he cited Tagovailoa’s improvement in practice and an overall feeling within the organization that it was time to hand the team over to him.
“We’ve seen a lot of improvement from Tua,” Flores said according to ESPN. “He’s gotten more comfortable — accuracy, decision-making have been good in practice. But again, practice is very different than games. We’re going to do everything we can from a meeting, walk-through, practice standpoint to get him ready to play in a game. Obviously we’re comfortable and confident that he’ll be able to be competitive in those games when that time comes. There’s a lot that leads into that.”
“He’s got a good rapport with his teammates. Every week we’re going out to win, so, yeah, I’m confident that if we prepare the way he’s been preparing, then I’m confident that we’ll go out there and have good results.”
It’s clear that Flores, his coaching staff, and most importantly the rest of the team have confidence in Tagovailoa and simply feel like this is the perfect time to throw him into the fire.
Fitzpatrick has known that this change was going to be coming at some point this season. He knew that his role was to keep this Miami team relevant until it was time to hand the ball over to Tagovailoa and he accomplished that, to say the least.
Tagovailoa made his NFL debut in Miami’s Week 6 win over the Jets going 2-for-2 through the air for nine yards. The former Alabama standout will face off against the Rams in his first start on Nov. 1.