Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier made it clear last week that Tua Tagovailoa was going to be the team’s starting quarterback going forward but reports on Wednesday revealed that not everyone in the locker room is confident in the rookie’s abilities after this season’s lackluster performance.
Several players told the Miami Herald that they were "unimpressed" with Tagovailoa dating back to his performance during training camp and expected the Dolphins to stick with veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick.
One player said they were "caught totally off guard" when Tagovailoa was named starter in Week 7 while another said: "I understand what they said," speaking of Grier’s announcement, "But I don’t understand why."
The general consensus of those who spoke to the Herald on the condition of anonymity was that while Tagovailoa is "humble" and "a competitor," he lacks the skills to be great -- at least as it stands.
Tagovailoa totaled 1,814 passing yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions in 10 appearances, compared to Fitzpatrick who had 2,091 passing yards and 13 touchdowns in just nine games.
"Those are the boys we got to beat, right?" one player told the paper. "It looks right now like that’s going to be a big challenge."
Tagovailoa is well liked by his teammates, despite their trepidation and, perhaps more importantly, he has the support of head coach Brian Flores.
"I think Tua has made a lot of improvement, really developed over the course of the year, so we’ll just continue to try to make those improvements."