Ryan Fitzpatrick has taken all the pressure off the Dolphins to rush Tua Tagovailoa.
Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn’t seem to care how many first-round quarterbacks the Dolphins throw in his way. The veteran passer just keeps playing.
For Miami and Tua Tagovailoa, so long as Fitzpatrick keeps playing well, that’s a really good thing.
Fitzpatrick’s latest performance on Thursday Night Football, leading the Dolphins to a 31-13 victory over the Jaguars, proved Miami’s plan at quarterback can work.
The Dolphins are best served to let Tua Tagovailoa learn behind Ryan Fitzpatrick.
It might not have seemed that way when Fitzpatrick opened the season with a three-interception performance against the New England Patriots, but the veteran can give Tagovailoa the room to learn and grow on his own time.
The worst thing the Dolphins could do to Tagovailoa is to throw him into the deep end and hope he floats. The No. 5 overall pick dislocated and fractured his hip less than 11 months ago. The same injury ended Bo Jackson’s career. An abundance of caution is wise in the long run.
Let’s not forget, Miami is starting two rookies on the offensive line at this point. Both Austin Jackson and Solomon Kindley have performed rather well given their youth, but this is still an offensive line that will go through some growing pains. Better for them to find their feet while protecting Fitzpatrick than risk a breakdown that compromises Tagovailoa’s future.
Obviously, the Dolphins can’t keep Tagovailoa in bubble wrap forever, but there doesn’t need to be a rush to put him out there in 2020 when Fitzpatrick is a perfectly viable quarterback and respected leader. He produced a near-perfect outing against Jacksonville with two touchdowns and 160 yards on 18-of-20 passing. He also scrambled for 38 yards and a touchdown.
Last week, Fitzpatrick was also effective in a narrow defeat to Buffalo. He threw for two touchdowns and 328 yards in the 31-28 loss. The Dolphins should ride Fitzpatrick for as long as they can, then unveil Tagovailoa when the risk is lower and the reward is higher.
It’ll require some patience, but it’ll be worth it.