By: Jeremy Dobin (12th Grade)
Due to the absence of school sports, the Warrior Word sports section is publishing its own articles covering professional sports.
The Miami Dolphins are heading in a winning direction, finally. Much of that optimism comes with the high expectations for rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. The Dolphins selected Tagaviloa with the fifth overall pick out of Alabama during the NFL Draft in April. Coming off a win and sitting at a 3-3 win-loss record this season, the Dolphins announced that Tagovailoa was going to be the team's starting quarterback moving forward. Tagoviloa had been on the bench learning under former starter Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The announcement sent the media into a frenzy and left NFL analysts and fans with mixed feelings. Some argued that Tagovailoa, having only taken two snaps since his devastating hip injury last November, was not ready to go yet and that the Dolphins should not have benched Fitzpatrick who had been playing really well through six games. Others took the stance that inserting Tua into the starting role was a smart move and that he would take the league by storm and light it up for the Dolphins.
After a much anticipated wait, it was time for Tua's starting debut. The Dolphins hosted the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. Tua responded to the hype by putting up modest numbers in his first game as QB1. He threw for 93 yards on 12 of 22 attempts with a touchdown and no interceptions. Tua's seemingly underwhelming numbers were enough to lead his team to victory due to the huge boost the Dolphins got from its defensive and specials teams units.
Dolphins fans at Hebrew Academy hold high expectations for Tua. '"I think he's a great young talent with an amazing upside. [He has] amazing accuracy," said Akiva Itzkowitz (11th Grade). "And [if] the Dolphins use him right, he could be a future star."'
Although Tua did not blow spectators away with his performance, there is a lot to be excited about regarding Tua's play in the future. He did not make many of the mistakes that rookies typically would make, and seemed to get more comfortable on the field as the game progressed. Tua was also limited in what he could have showcased due to the play call which prevented opportunities for him to shine. According to the Palm Beach Post's Joe Schad, Chain Gailey-the Dolphin's offensive coordinator-made it clear that there will be more eye popping plays in the future and that because of the Rams gameplay, there was no need for the Dolphins to include those plays in their game plan on Sunday.
'"I'm excited to watch Tua play for the Miami Dolphins this year because we get to see a young player who is a star player get to develop before our eyes with an amazing system and an amazing coach," said Senior Ben Grosz. ''He can be our quarterback for a generation."'
Perhaps Tua will have a better chance to showcase his talents on Sunday when the Dolphins take on the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, AZ. And hopefully for a long time after that. Tagovailoa- surrounded by a young and talented Miami Dolphins roster- under the leadership of Head Coach Brian Flores brings much excitement to Dolphins fans and the entire Dolphins organization. Hopefully when all is said and done, Tua will have multiple Super Bowls with the Dolphins starting with Super Bowl 55 this February in Tampa.