Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores announced today that 2020 first-round draft pick quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has passed his physicals, is green-lighted to begin practicing and will enter training camp to compete to become the team’s starting QB.
Tagovailoa, Fitzpatrick to Compete for Starting QB
Miami originally said that veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick would be the Dolphins’ 2020 starter, but in a statement today said Tagovailoa is now in the mix.
“When we do get to practice, you’ll see him out there,” Flores said. “Obviously, some players are further ahead than others. We all kind of know and understand that, but, yes, we want competition. There’s no jobs that are just going to be handed out.”
Tagovailoa Drafted to Eventually Replace Fitzpatrick
Tagovailoa was drafted No. 5 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft to fill the long-standing hole of Miami’s QB problems despite his injury concerns from college at the University of Alabama.
Fitzpatrick is entering the final year of his two-year deal and is reported to win the starting job, despite Flores saying Tagovailoa will compete with him. Previously, Flores has hinted at the idea that Fitzpatrick, who is onto his eighth NFL team, was signed to a multi-year deal to help groom his successor.
“We’re going to ask (him) to do the same as every other player — to come in every day, having gone over the install the night before, mentally prepare to go out there and practice, physically prepare to go out there and try to improve every day,” Flores said.
Dolphins Drafted Tagovailoa Despite Injury History
Tagovailoa is coming off hip surgery and has spent most of the offseason in Alabama rehabbing it. He has been a part of virtual team calls during that rehab period, but is now able to meet up with fellow rookies in the beginning stages of training camp before meeting the rest of his South Beach teammates.
Slow Down the Tua Hype-Train
Flores did not shy away however from the fact that this is Tagovailoa’s first training camp and very early stages of his career. He said expectations for the young QB must be tempered.
“I know there’s a lot of people wanting to talk about Tua. I understand it. But at the same time, he’s a young player. This is his first NFL training camp,” Flores said. “He’s got to take it one day at a time and not think about what’s realistic for the season. I think we have to take a one-day-at-a-time approach, which has been my message to him.”
Flores said Tagovailoa will be a full participant in team practices when they begin in August.