Last week, Miami Dolphins second-year head coach Brian Flores made sense. This week, he’s not making any. In fact, he’s contradicting himself. Flores has made the move bench quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in favor of rookie Tua Tagovailoa. It’s a strange move that comes one week after Flores said Fitzpatrick gives his team a better chance to win.
Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins have exceeded expectations
The Miami Dolphins were not expected to make any noise in the NFL this season. With veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick leading the way, the Dolphins are a 3-3 team riding a two-game winning streak. The Dolphins find themselves one game out of first place in the AFC East.
Miami has been very impressive in its last two games. The Dolphins have outscored their last two opponents, the San Francisco 49ers and New York Jets, by a combined 67-17. During those two games, Fitzpatrick has thrown six touchdown passes – three in each game.
Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins are hitting their stride as they enter their bye week. They are also entering a week of change as head coach Brian Flores makes the highly questionable move of benching Fitzpatrick for rookie Tua Tagovailoa. The move was expected to come in the future, but the timing doesn’t appear to be right.
Tua Tagovailoa is the future of the Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins invested their fifth overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft on Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Tagovailoa is a promising young quarterback who was expected to lead the Dolphins down the road. Head coach Brian Flores has now said that road begins in Week 8 when the Dolphins return from their bye week.
After Miami’s 43-17 win on the road against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 5, fans were calling for Tagovailoa to come in during the fourth quarter in a mop-up role. Flores shot down the idea. He said Tagovailoa wouldn’t gain anything by simply handing off the ball as the Dolphins ran out the clock.
Literally 13 days ago, Flores said Tagovailoa wasn’t ready to be the starter. “As far as (Tagovailoa) being a starter, we just don’t feel like he’s ready there just yet,” Flores said, according to ESPN. “Right now, we feel like Fitz gives us the best chance to win.”
Flores turns to Tagovailoa
One week after the Miami Dolphins stunned the San Francisco 49ers in convincing fashion, they blanked the woeful New York Jets 24-0 to pull their record to 3-3. With every other team in the AFC losing, the Dolphins find themselves one game behind the 4-2 Buffalo Bills for first place in the division.
The Dolphins are rolling, the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots are reeling, and head coach Brian Flores decides to pull Ryan Fitzpatrick for a rookie in Tua Tagovailoa? Not only is it a head-scratching move that will mess with their momentum, but it apparently has Fitzpatrick upset.
“I felt like it was my team and that’s why my heart was so heavy yesterday,” Fitzpatrick said, according to Bleacher Report. “My heart just hurt all day. It was heartbreaking for me.” The move was to be expected. The timing, however, couldn’t have been worse.