Dan Marino has set the bar incredibly high for Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
In Marino’s second season out of Pittsburgh, he won NFL MVP, threw for over 5,000 yards and led the Dolphins to their most-recent Super Bowl appearance. While guiding the Dolphins to the Super Bowl in his second year out of Alabama would be remarkable for Tagovailoa, that is where the quarterbacking bar stands when it comes to the Marino comparisons. Marino does believe in him.
“He’s been great. He’s been awesome. He has all the talent in the world. Now it’s just about him developing the relationship with the other players,” said Marino of Tagovailoa to ESPN.
“It’s been tough because he didn’t have OTAs last year, a lot of the summer camp or the chance to play in exhibition games. All those things delay you somewhat. I’ll tell you, he works his butt off. I’m really excited about him, his future and our future as a team.”
Is Tagovailoa ready to become the best quarterback Miami has had since Marino retired in 1999?
Miami Dolphins: Dan Marino expects big things out of Tua Tagovailoa in 2021
Regardless of if Tagovailoa ascends to Marino levels this season, the Dolphins should be one of the better teams in the AFC. While they are not favored to win the AFC East over the defending champion Buffalo Bills, Miami has the talent to make the AFC playoffs as one of three wild card teams. Tagovailoa’s continued growth and development will be the reason they could get there.
However, Tagovailoa struggled with the playbook a season ago and did not exactly command the offense when the split time with journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick. As Marino stated, Tagovailoa will have a normal offseason in his favor and one that is not negatively impacted by COVID-19. Keep in mind how sensational Tagovailoa was as a sophomore with the 2018 Crimson Tide.
As long as the Dolphins do enough to make the playoffs, Tagovailoa will be in good shape in Miami.