With Ryan Fitzpatrick, who split starting time with Tua this past season, leaving the team to sign with the Washington Football Team earlier this offseason — the rising-second year QB is primed to take over as full-time QB1. While there were some initial concerns about whether or not Tagovailoa would remain with the team, team representatives have been overwhelmingly positive about the return of their former No. 5 overall pick.
On Thursday morning, Dolphins star cornerback Byron Jones joined NFL Network’s Good Morning Football and outlined the team’s lofty expectations for Tua heading into his sophomore season.
“It’s exciting. This team is comprised of a bunch of young guys,” Jones said. “Obviously, he’s going into his second year. What we saw last year was great from him but we expect a big jump. The kid’s been working, I know he’s been working. He’s been a great kid. Really good head on his shoulders. And that’s the beauty of it. We’re surrounded by a bunch of good guys who want to be great again. So I’m looking forward to seeing his jump. His contributions to the team have been great so far, but we’re looking for even something better this year. It’s exciting. I can’t wait to see him work his magic.”
Starting nine games for Miami in 2020, Tua threw 1,814 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions through a 6-3 record. In a few games, the young quarterback showed flashes of brilliance — like a 20/28, 248-yard, two-touchdown outing in a win over the Arizona Cardinals. But in other games, he showed the struggles of a rookie QB — like his three-interception game in a loss to the Buffalo Bills. Due to his late-season inconsistency, Tagovailoa was benched for Fitzpatrick on multiple occasions.
While the Dolphins are outwardly confident in their QB, 2021 will be an important test for Tua. If his level of play doesn’t take a significant leap during this upcoming season, Miami may be on the hunt for a new QB1 yet again in 2022.