Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Benching Tua Sunday was just plain asinine

Tua Tagovailoa watches the end of Sunday’s game from the sidelines.
Tua Tagovailoa watches the end of Sunday’s game from the sidelines.
Image: (AP)

I’m of the firm belief that when you give a rookie quarterback the starting job, you don’t call take-backsies four weeks later. What Brian Flores did to Tua Tagovailoa in yesterday’s game was atrocious, and was a terrible display of a lack of confidence in the young signal caller.

With 10:44 remaining in the fourth quarter, down 20-10, the Dolphins head coach sent Ryan Fitzpatrick out at quarterback. Twitter exploded. People weren’t sure if Tua was hurt or if he was flat-out benched. There was a moment earlier in the game when Tua appeared to be rolled up on, so speculation swirled that maybe his ankle or foot was bothering him.

No no, it wasn’t that. Flores is just an idiot and benched his rookie starting quarterback in crunch time because, apparently, a career journeyman quarterback gave his team a better chance to win or some bullshit like that.

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Oh good. Well, at least after basically showing your young quarterback that you don’t think he is capable of leading a comeback, you have the courtesy to tell him that he’s still the starter next week.

I’m not sure what else Flores is wanting to see out of Tua. He led the Fins to three straight victories, has shown good control of the system, has the support and belief of his teammates, and hasn’t thrown an interception yet in the NFL. If he’s your quarterback of the future (which he is), then you put him out there, give him the opportunity to grow and step up in a crucial situation, and see what happens. You can’t send him back to the kiddie table and say “hold on, kiddo, it’s not your turn for the main dish, yet.”

To say it was performance-based makes absolutely zero sense to me and, apparently, ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky agrees.

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Oh, also, I think it’s important to point out that Fitzpatrick threw a game-ending interception, and they lost anyways. Flores’ master plan accomplished nothing other than confuse his team and potentially mess with the confidence of his young quarterback. There’s a reason Fitzpatrick was benched to begin with. There’s a reason he’s never been “the guy” on any of the eight teams he has been on. There’s a reason you drafted Tua fifth overall.

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Tua is going to be looking over his shoulder at all times wondering if a single turnover, or a missed throw, or taking a sack instead of throwing the ball away is going to lead to him getting benched. Flores, just give the kid the starting job, and don’t look back. Experience is the best teacher for a young quarterback. Let him have his.

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