Tuanigamanuolepola Tagovailoa. After Coach Flores announced Tua as the starter on October 20th the world has been on fire with every type of opinion toward our face of the franchise. I did my own analysis of the 5 snaps vs the Jets which will be posted below. Now that his first start is finally here it has made it next to impossible to talk or focus about anything else. I will do my best to bring you SOMETHING else to watch for in Week 8 when your Miami Dolphins host the LA Rams, so without further ado, lets dive in.
TUA TAGOVAILOA Thread!!!!
— Juan C (@exclusvty) October 20, 2020
It would not be an official Dolphins piece without a mention of how bad the offensive line is if you followed the national media guidelines to covering this team. I want to be clear that by no means is this group a top oline, but they sure aren’t a bottom 5 oline either. Keep that in mind as you watch them this Sunday go up against Aaron Donald and company and the heavy scrutiny they will face if they do not protect the franchise. I have full confidence that this group will come out determined to prove the media wrong and own the line of scrimmage. Also check this analysis of the online play by an ex lineman.
Coming off a week where we were able to average 5.2 yards per carry, we will need another effort like this to help Tua. One of the things that I hope the Dolphins attempt to do is continue to run the ball regardless of the score. We need the Ram’s defense to truly believe we want to run the ball because if this is a game that forces Tua to throw more than 35 attempts, I don’t think that’s the recipe we want for his first start. We need Myles and Breida to step up and have another good day rushing for Tua and this offense to function as designed.
One of the things that’s become apparent as the year has gone on, is what a great hiring Chan Gailey was. At the time I was hesitant of such an old coach transitioning Tua into a modern NFL considering he last coached in 2016 with the Jets but Chan has destroyed those notions emphatically. This offense, per next gen stats, has the longest average distance between the two widest players in the offensive formation. AKA a spread offense, which is what Tua excelled in. I expect the Dolphins to try to receive the ball first to start the game getting Tua comfortable. Gailey has shown that he has the ability to game plan a strong 15-25 plays to start the game and would not be surprised to see the Dolphins up early in this game.
Flores vs McVay:
With all the attention going to Tua and rightfully so, no one has brought up the history of McVay vs Flores. Both of them being very familiar with each other, with Flores having figured out his offense on the biggest of stages. This game is one that I think both of these coaches are exact opposites in that McVay is a genius on the offensive side and Flores having earned his job through his work on the defensive side. Strength vs Strength, this will be a matchup that will be decided with what the weakness of each coach does. For McVay that means his defense and for Flores that of course means his offense.
Team Response to QB Change:
If you only followed the national media like ESPN, Good Morning Football, Skip and Shannon and others, you may have gotten the idea that this team is upset and confused over the change of QB. I assure you that only a handful of players were shocked with less than that feeling as strongly as Fitz did in his conference the Wednesday after the announcement. Let me clear this notion up as the players are all behind Tua and that includes Fitzpatrick, even if he did sulk a bit. Tua’s involvement overall with the team is what makes me think that they know this kid is the real deal. You hear different stories from Tua having a Tuesday meeting with Flores every week to watch tape, to Tua asking specific defenders like Bobby McCain and even Josh Boyer came out this past week to speak on Tua trying to dissect the defense point of view. With all that being said, I fully expect an energized team that’s ready to stand up and defend their new QB.
Ultimately, one week will not let us know what we can expect from Tua for the next 4 years but a start on the right foot will go a long way to shut up the national media. For all the talk of how good the Rams are no one is mentioning a west coast team being forced to fly cross country to play what essentially is a 10 am game for their body clocks. I cannot wait for next week’s installment of Stock Watch to see how we performed so make sure to keep an eye for it. Till next time guys, Fins Up!