The phrase “some things never get old” should be the motto for some sports shows looking for off-season football content. It seems like when in doubt, criticizing Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is the go-to topic. But those critical takes are old news. This week’s criticism of Tagovailoa on sports shows is the same takes we heard during 2021.
Tua Tagovailoa’s Criticism is Recycled on Sports Shows Out of Ideas
It’s the off-season and it appears that sports shows are fresh out of ideas. To try to captivate audiences, shows are now giving the same criticisms on Tagovailoa that everyone heard last year.
This past week, Shannon Sharpe, on the show Skip and Shannon: Undisputed, joined Tagovailoa’s critics. Sharpe, who once praised Tagovailoa, said, “It looks like to me, the Miami Dolphins took the wrong quarterback…I’m not so sure he might not be any more than a middle of the road quarterback.” Sharpe’s co-host, Skip Bayless asked Sharpe if Dolphins head coach Brian Flores was right when he said, “We can’t win with this guy.” Sharpe acknowledged that Flores was right in saying that. Sharpe continued the Tua-bashing rant by mocking the now famous “greatness” speech that Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel gave Tagovailoa through a cell phone video chat. Smiling, Sharpe said, “There might not be greatness in there. It might only really be goodness.”
On NFL Live, hosted by Laura Rutledge, Booger McFarland said he thought Tagovailoa will struggle with McDaniel’s offense. McFarland’s reasoning was because it’s a very physical run game that also entails the play-action pass. He went on to say, “We just saw one of the most unbelievable playoff runs from a lot of quarterbacks we’ve ever seen with Mahomes, and Josh Allen, and Joe Burrow…They have to ask themselves one question in Miami. Can Tua beat the guys we saw go on those runs in January? If they’re really being honest right now, the answer is no.”
Mike Florio Astounded Dolphins Drafted Tua
Additionally, Mike Florio, on Pro Football Talk Live, sarcastically commented on McDaniel’s remarks about Tagovailoa being successful in his offense. “A lot of three-yard passes then in a Mike McDaniel offense, apparently for Tua Tagovailoa,” Florio said. He continued to say, “I’m still astounded that the Dolphins took him over, Justin Herbert. That blows me away. When you look at the two guys, just put ’em next to each other and you already have a huge hill that Tua Tagovailoa has to climb to show he’s better than Justin Herbert. I know that size isn’t everything, but it’s a tough sell.” Also, Florio talked about people having legitimate concerns about Tagovailoa’s size and arm strength.
One of Tagovailoa’s biggest critics, Colin Cowherd, also recycled his old critical takes on Tagovailoa on his show The Herd with Colin Cowherd. Responding to his co-host, Joy Taylor, Cowherd said, “Maybe if he was better, they wouldn’t have looked for Deshaun Watson. Nobody on the Chargers is looking for Deshaun Watson.”
Tua’s Criticism is Unwarranted
The problem with the type of critical takes on Tagovailoa from sports shows is that most are unwarranted and misleading. Furthermore, even though it’s only perception by media personalities, it may appear as inaccurate information. Sharpe told Bayless that Miami took the wrong quarterback in the draft because he felt that Tagovailoa wouldn’t do well in a McDaniel West Coast offense. That was also the consensus from McFarland. Whether Sharpe and McFarland didn’t know, or they were saying it for television content, it is contrary to truth.
Tagovailoa was having his best season at Alabama in 2019 before his hip injury. In only nine games, Tagovailoa threw 33 touchdowns, 2,840 yards in only 252 passing attempts, only 3 interceptions, 71.3% completion percentage, with an outstanding 206.9 rating. During the 2019 season, Tagovailoa’s inflated stats resulted from playing in an offense coordinated by Steve Sarkisian. That offense was full field progressions that were a run-heavy pro-style offense, which the West Coast offense falls under.
Alabama Fans Know the Offense Tua Played
Alabama fans that saw Tagovailoa’s college games are perplexed to hear McFarland say Tagovailoa won’t succeed in McDaniel’s offense. His prediction of Tagovailoa’s failure in McDaniel’s offense being a result of a run-heavy game that entails the play-action pass is not plausible. That is the exact offense Tagovailoa played in at Alabama. That run-heavy offense under Sarkisian in 2019 produced 1,224 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns for Najee Harris.
Florio’s discussion about Tagovailoa’s size is another recycled story from 2021. But nearly 40% of quarterbacks that started games in the NFL in 2021 are basically the same size as Tagovailoa. With only one to two inches or a few pounds difference in Tagovailoa, 13 NFL quarterbacks are basically the same size. Tagovailoa is 6’1″ and 217 pounds. Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray, Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield, Tyrod Taylor, Ian Book, Taylor Heinicke, Jaylen Hurts, Jimmy Garroppolo, Andy Dalton, Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins, and Mack Jones are all either smaller, the same size, or just bigger by a small margin.
Whether fans of sports shows want to keep hearing Tagovailoa’s critics or not, their takes are old news. The Super Bowl is over, and it is the off-season. However, sports shows keep criticizing Tagovailoa. It appears that shows are out of ideas. Their fallback plan seems to be to recycle critical takes on Tagovailoa. Those takes have become boring. It is time to move on to something new.
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