By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303
The Miami Dolphins have released their 2021 NFL training camp schedule. It will be held at their new facility, the Baptist Health Training Complex, located in beautiful Miami Gardens, Florida.
There is no doubt that all eyes will be on Miami’s quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who, to say the least, had some struggles during the coronavirus plagued 2020 season. Tagovailoa was benched by Dolphins head coach Brian Flores during the team’s playoff run late in December, only to have to go back to him after named starter Ryan Fitzpatrick tested positive for COVID-19.
Now comes a brand new season. Let’s, for the sake of argument, give Tagovailoa the benefit of the doubt. I say sake of argument purely because the fans have seemingly divided, making it so you are either for him or against him. I find myself on the fence. I have spoken to many NFL experts on his play and the 2020 season. They all agreed that as unorthodox the season was, it is still too early to make a call on him. And from all that I have seen, the Dolphins agree.
Even if they did make a phone call to the Texans…
Now, let’s fast forward to the 2021 season. Putting COVID-19 and Deshaun Watson in the past, I can tell you that many of the Dolphins beat writers have said that during this year OTA’s, Tagovailoa seemed like a different quarterback. His throws looked crisp. His movement was noted to be considerably better, leading many to believe his hip wasn’t as far along as suggested.
Now understandably this was just a walk-through and light practice. It was the after-practice press conference that gained notable attention one day. Tagovailoa stated that he was uncomfortable with then Dolphin’s offensive coordinator Chan Gailey’s playbook.
— Mike DiPasquale (@mdipasquale7) May 26, 2021
His exact quote was: “I wasn’t comfortable calling plays,” said Tagovailoa. “I think the guys that were here last year were phenomenal. I just didn’t have the comfortability of checking plays, alerting plays, and doing that. I just rode with the play, even if I knew it wasn’t going to work. I was going to try to make it work still.”
So now this is where things seem to get blown out of proportion and Dolphins’ social media blew up!! Understandably so. Took me a few to sit back as I listened to him. Little shocked that he would admit that to the world. But Ok, after some thought, I came to the conclusion that this is a guy that wants also to clean the 2020 slate.
Well, now we are back to the beginning. Remember, I said the benefit of the doubt. Yes, I am giving him that benefit. I am giving him a full training camp, all 3 preseason games. Plus the fact that he’ll be at all the meetings. Full practices to learn a new offense by not one but two new co-offensive coordinators. No excuses for 2021.
He deserves a shot to be the quarterback Dolphins fans have been craving. He at least deserves the support from his peers and this fanbase. So let’s put 2020 in the rearview and see what this young man can do for The Dolphins
Follow Lisa on Twitter @LJ103