As the Miami Dolphins get ready to usher in new head coach Mike McDaniel, after firing Brian Flores, the newly hired coach has a few questions to answer at the quarterback situation. But a majority of them don’t have anything to do with starter Tua Tagovailoa.
While McDaniel is figuring out a plan to get Tagovailoa to reach his full potential, Miami has to figure out what to do at the backup position in case he gets hurt.
Best Case Scenario?
The best possible option for Miami is to keep the current backup in QB Jacoby Brissett, solely because he has spent one year in the Dolphins’ system. But, at 30 years old, he is currently an unrestricted free agent after only signing a one-year contract during last year’s offseason.
The biggest reason why I would keep Brissett is simply because of knowing the offense and how to execute the plays if asked upon.
In his short tenure with the Dolphins, Brissett started five games and completed 141-of-225 passes for a completion percentage of 62.7-percent. Brissett also added 1,283 passing yards, averaging 5.7 yards per pass, with a five to four touchdown to interception ratio. He also picked up a rushing score on 19 carries for 70 yards (3.7 yards per carry).
Why Should Brissett Remain the Backup?
Brissett doesn’t have much of a track record across the league, but it’s safe to say his time serving as a starter for the Indianapolis Colts had its fair share of ups and downs. During his tenure with Colts, Brissett had a TD to INT ratio of 31 to 13 with 6,059 passing yards, as well as 11 rushing scores across four years.
McDaniel should want to keep Brissett around Tagovailoa for the veteran presence and to build chemistry for the two in understanding the playbook. It also helps that both Brissett and Tagovailoa are mobile QBs giving them rushing upside.
It might also be best for McDaniel to possibly consider playing both of the QBs during the game in case there is any inconsistency on the part of Tagovailoa during multiple stretches of the game. Tagovailoa had it happen to him in both of his first two seasons, and while some argue it could hinder his development, at the end of the day, when the clock strikes 0:00 the only goal is to win.
For the Dolphins, Tagovailoa seems to fit best in a run-pass-option, quick-read system.
However, Brissett doesn’t fit that mold.
Who’s the Top Free Agent Target for Miami?
The best possible free agent option the Dolphins could look at bringing in behind Tagovailoa is former NFL starter Marcus Mariota. Mariota is the former No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft selected by the Tennessee Titans. He most recently had a stint with the Las Vegas Raiders.
While Mariota was ousted after a brief stint, he still managed to put up some quality numbers. During his time with the Titans Mariota finished with 13,207 passing yards, 76 TDs to only 46 INTs, while also rushing for just under 1,400 yards, 1,399, and 11 scores.
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Mariota fits the balance of the RPO, too.
Miami Can’t Have a Major Dropoff Between QB1 and QB2
Finding a QB that does fit the RPO would make it a lot less of a drop-off when a new QB comes in should the situation arise, despite Miami possibly wanting the consistency of keeping Brissett for multiple seasons.
While Brissett technically finished with a 2-3 record as a starter, Tagovailoa played the second half of his second win and was the one who secured the victory in a national Thursday Night Football victory.
Brissett mostly felt like a one-year answer to the need for a veteran behind Tagovailoa. Unless he is coming back on a cheap contract, it does not feel like he is in the plans for the Dolphins for 2022.
However, the firing of Flores also didn’t feel like it was in the plans for the Dolphins either after their season finale win and the second-straight winning season.
Brissett did succeed in South Beach, and with the way McDaniel has proved he can develop offensive positions year after year, he may choose to not disrupt the ship?
But, assuming McDaniel is going to continue to build a RPO offense around Tagovailoa, Brissett does not feel like the right backup to have behind him. Miami will probably look to free agency and/or the NFL Draft to add someone to the roster.
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