On a scale from 1-10, let’s say that Tua HATERS are a ONE, and Tua LOVERS are a 10.

1 5 10
HATE TUA’s GUTS, Let Him Walk Eh LOVE HIM, and Must Keep Him

There are plenty of ONES out there. Among the media, among us fans, probably among some Dolphins themselves. Lots of people think it’s best to end his tenure or else just keep him on his rookie salary and bring in some competition.

There are some TENS out there as well, although I sense that even Tua’s most adamant supporters are at an 8 or a 9.

I’ll go first and say that I am at 7.5, leaning toward 8.

First and foremost, when a man led the NFL is passing, you don’t get rid of him. While the word “elite” may not be accurate, leading the league in passing is an outstanding accomplishment. Even when you look at his negatives (and I certainly do…more to come), you cannot take away the positives that he brought to the table in 2023.

When challenged last off-season about his durability, he came out and played 18 games. When listening to “He cannot throw a deep ball,” he came out and made more long-yardage gains than any other QB.

This year’s challenge will be buying time and not folding under pressure. I know he hears the chatter, and just like in the past, I expect him to work hard in the off season to overcome that.

This isn’t like the Ryan Tannehill debate and some of the others. None of our QBs in the past 25 years led the NFL in passing. Tua showed us all something this year (me anyway), and I remain optimistic that he’ll make the next step. He did not have a mediocre year. He was much better than that. (for the most part)

THAT BEING SAID… I’m not one of those Tua supporters who supports him blindly. I lambaste him when he deserves it, and I point out that he really really hurt the Dolphins in Week 18 vs. Buffalo and then in the playoffs @ KC.

As much as Mike McDaniel’s playcalling doomed our season during the last two games, still, Tua could have saved it. Elite QBs have to make the best of a bad situation many times during a game, but Tua fails in these bad situations more often than not.

Second and inches inside KC territory, and Mike McDaniel called for THREE STRAIGHT passes, including a trick/backward pass. All three of these play calls were incorrect. They were season-ending, terrible play calls when you consider that we only needed an inch to keep that drive alive. (We were down only 10-7 at the time).

But…even though the play calls were all horrible…Tua still has to deliver. He can’t throw grounders.

We see the best QBs do this all the time. You don’t expect a rush, but the rush comes. It happens. You have to dig deep, quickly, and deliver an accurate pass to your wide open guy.

Unfortunately, we’ve seen Tua panic in these situations. He rushes his throws and gives our guys no chance whatsoever to catch it. Many of McD’s play designs don’t have a checkdown receiver, so when Hill and Waddle are covered, our plays are dead in the water. Those are not Tua’s fault.

But there are plenty of other examples when bad plays are his fault. These are the plays that must be eliminated.

Personally, I think they can be eliminated. I think he’ll get better; I really do.

I get it…ideally a QB at this level shouldn’t need to get better on 10-yard gimme passes. A fourth-year QB should already know where to go with the ball when under pressure. He should know when the rush is real and when it’s phantom. Tua should indeed know all of these things and this should not be an issue after 4 years.

Rushing his throws and therefore missing wide open receivers (almost always on RB screens or bubble screens to WRs) can be corrected. That is the shortcoming of Tua and a flaw that I want to see immediate improvement on.

I’m not too worried about his other “flaws,” if that is the right word. We know he’s not fast. We know he doesn’t tuck the ball and run for many first downs. We know he isn’t strong enough to power out of a crowd of pass rushers and emerge for a 20-yard game.

That is clearly part of Allen’s and Mahomes’ and Jackson’s game. But it’s not Tua, and that’s okay. We knew we were getting that when drafting a smallish QB. He can’t will himself to be faster, but he can certainly practice bubble screens from now until opening day.

And that’s what it might take. Get to work, Tua. Practice those hurried throws…without over-hurrying.

And then go tell McDaniel to call some F***ing running plays when you need an inch. Remind him that Achane averaged 8 yards-per-carry. Remind him often.

25 Comments

  1. I am a solid 7 on Tua and have no problem keeping him around. I really hope we can do it in a way that doesn’t tank the cap, but when Jones gets that kind of money in NY you gotta do what you gotta do. If you can finish the season top 5 in multiple categories as a QB you would be insane to roll the dice on someone else. Obviously there are things he needs to work on, he gets way too frantic when things start to break down. Also, I would love to see him assert himself more to McD. Too many clips from the last two years of coach asking Tua a question and he just says “whatever you think coach”. I’m with Rich Eisen in loving Salty Tua

    1. Yep dead on gents. I just try to be realistic even when the QB plays well or plays bad its still a team game including coaches. Tua has improved every year I would expect more from him next season.

      The oline does need to improve too and stay healthy. They were a better team when most of the starters played. Of course Tua had to throw within 2 seconds or he would have been laid out most of the time. Even when they do a good job the play calls were coming in to throw fast anyway. I can see that changing once the oline confidence is there. Should be drafting oline but if you use a pick on a QB then you have one less shot at a good one.

  2. Author

    Wow, after watching Dan Campbell single-handedly blow that game for his players, perhaps Stephen Ross firing him in favor of Adam Gase wasn’t a bad move after all. It’s bad enough that his decisions cost the Lions a Super Bowl appearance, but he doubled-down and spat in the face of Detroit by saying he does not regret those decisions.

    1. Yes some bad decisions but also some horrible drops. Players need to make plays and Reynolds dropped the ball literally!

      On another note KC just rolled everyone. Ravens didn’t do much better than the Fins they were at home, less injured and it wasn’t minus a hundred out

      1. Author

        Those are all valid points. The Ravens D held the Chiefs to only 2 Touchdowns, just like we did. Ravens made some gigantic mistakes like the INT and the goal-line fumble, whereas the Dolphins made lot of small mistakes.
        We’re still young and growing, and we can only hope for continued improvement, whereas teams like the Ravens and Bills might have peaked this season.

        1. Dolphins are young? I read that they were the ‘oldest’ of the teams entering the playoffs, and they don’t have a lot of draft capital going fwd.

          So IMO, they are a Superbowl bust. I am a life-long fan, but Dolphins (and Tua as QB) are nowhere near the level of play of the
          teams that were in the playoffs this year. That is the sad reality.
          Tua is not a playmaker. The Grier rebuild has failed 🙁 and
          we are back to the Ross mess

          1. The core is very young but if you add in all the vet 7/11 players added after injuries it skews their age. Window is definitely not closed yet. Give Tua more than 2 seconds and I can guarantee you he will find receivers…look at Goff last night he had hours to throw.

          2. Author

            I don’t know the exact ages, but off the top of my head, I know Terron Armstead is in his 30s, and perhaps some of the other O linemen as well. I think almost all the other guys are in their 20s. I think age is important, but equally important is the continuity. Once again, like every year, our D has to start from scratch and learn a brand new system. Again. 22-year-old rookies should be excelling in their system by the time they are a 3-year veteran at 25 years old. However, with the Dolphins, a 25-year-old is basically a rookie because he has to learn all over again.

  3. Author

    I don’t understand how Kelce had so many catches in the AFC Title game. I thought there was a rule that you can only pass it to the tight end two or three times per year. Oh, wait. That’s Mike McDaniel’s philosophy as opposed to an NFL rule

  4. Author

    Mason Rudolph. Skylar Thompson. Mack Jones. Tyler Huntley. Philip Rivers (at end of career in Indianapolis).
    What do those luminary names all have in common? They are all the QBs that Josh Allen has beaten in his playoffs career.
    Yeah, I know Tua is 0-1 in his playoff career and cannot gloat, but it’s not as if Josh Allen has beaten any good teams either. I mean, I guess beating an ancient Philip Rivers counts for something, but the rest of those dudes?

    1. Actually pretty surprising yet everyone believes allen is some sort of superman. Him and lamar so far are playoff duds. Just shows you that its a team game as I wouldn’t solely blame them either for this. Crazy stuff…

      1. Author

        Yes, I agree. When I saw that list of QBs who Allen has beaten, I just had to share it here, LOL

  5. Since Tua already is signed for the 5th year option, let him play and prove he is work KEEPING before signing him to a new contract.

    I like Tua the person, but Tua is an average QB and not a play maker. Yes he is accurate, but he is also short, does not have a strong arm, is not mobile, and is challenged reading the field. He also does not have that intangible leader quality (where is the serious endeavor? where is fire?).

    Finally, He had THREE, not two, concussions last year. They played coy with the first one (it was a “back injury”). So he is one concussion away from ending his career (I think this is the reality that is being hidden by McDaniel & Tua). This is also the reality that necessitated the offensive schemes that give Tua the opportunity to pass the ball in 2.5sec. This is also the reality that prevents Tua from being a running QB (he has put on extra weight to minimize concussions). And the reality that makes him anxious and hurry the pass

    All this adds to my rating of a ‘3’ on Admin’s scale. So prove me wrong Tua!

    1. The Fins may just do that but Tua could possibly hold out derailing next season.

      PFF rated Tua 6th I guess that’s average? He was def told not to run by everyone including his agent but the Fins didn’t want him running either.

      You may be partially right that he was antsy in the pocket due to those reasons above but to be fair the oline was busted up all year. When they were together they rolled when injured 2 seconds of time. MM called his plays to be quick as he didn’t trust them either. Routes were all based on timing because of this when there was time no one was ready for it. I’ve heard this from some pretty knowledgeable people…

      So if you turf Tua and bring in say a rookie without fixing the other issues mainly oline I think you’d end up with the same frustrations or possibly worse. I’d prefer to roll the dice and give this group the best chance to win. I’d still like to draft more QBs every year if needed as its only smart business you may find someone a lot better and cheaper!

    2. Author

      Because of his injuries and concussion risks (and also because it gave defenses fits at times during the season so it made sense), I think McDaniel designed his whole offense to be lightning fast and explosive. When it worked, it was fantastic. But defenses caught up. Now, during this off-season, McDaniel needs to come up with different wrinkles. I have faith that he can do it. Make the defense think that a non-immediate pass is coming. Put Tua under center way more than he was last year. Disguise things. Our ground game was good. Our pass game was inconsistent, based on the level of the D we faced. That is McDaniel’s challenge

      1. I can agree with this Admin. If the D knows its coming out fast every down then you tip your hand. Have to mix things up. Plus they knew that MM wouldn’t stick to the run so they played pass D a lot. None of this helped the O.

  6. You make a lot of valid points Admin but we disagree on Tua. I think his ceiling is 11 wins and 1-and-done in the playoffs. I don’t know how the Dolphins decision-making brass could watch the playoffs the last few years and think any team that doesn’t have a legit DUAL THREAT QB has any chance of winning a Super Bowl. Even Purdy made a few key plays with his legs vs. Detroit when the play broke down that Tua is not capable of making because of his physical limitations. And those handful of off-script plays on 3rd down were the difference in the game. Defenses are just too smart & athletic these days to have a 1-dimensional QB. You gotta have a guy back there that can keep a key drive alive in the 4th quarter with a 7-yard scramble on 3rd & 5 when the defense is in the perfect scheme against your play call and things don’t go according to plan.

    1. Author

      I can’t argue with anything you said here. You point out very fair shortcomings in Tua’s game. No doubt. But I would say that perhaps some scramble drills in the off-season could help. Tua faced a TON of criticism last year for not being durable, cannot throw the deep ball, etc. He worked his ass off in the off season, and came out with his best year yet. He’s not a speed demon, but surely he’s capable to run for 7 yards like you mentioned. Taking off with the ball just seems to be his last resort, and I wonder it running infinite drills over and over and over again can help.

      Hell, even hobbly Dan Marino and Peyton Manning scored on naked bootlegs

  7. IMO, we are making too many excuses for the kid. Stop this egg shell walk.

    I totally agree with Moonbear, as I said above, he is not a playmaker. And It is very clear from watching the playoffs that Tua is light years away from winning a playoff game.

    I also don’t like his attitude. He is not serious and does not have the fighting will to win. Even in a fun but meaningless Pro Bowl passing contest, he showed diminished excitement and performed poorly. Perhaps if they had a bounce-pass competition, he would have aced it!

    So it is up to Grier to cut his losses and admit he made a mistake. But I doubt he will do that. And since Ross will never fire Grier, Ross is going to get scammed into a long-term Tua contract.

    1. Author

      I come off the eggshells when he deserves it. I can’t lambaste the kid any more than pointing out the grounders he was throwing to WRs five yards away. The INTs he threw that cost us ball games. The lack of fire when the game was on the line (Titans and 1st Chiefs games). He’s too nice to gave a cut-throat winning attitude, and I agree with you there. Sometimes, you truly need to be a dick, and we have never seen him that way.
      All that being said, you cannot overlook the fact that he was the NFL #1 QB last season. He leaves a lot to be desired, yes. But he’s no slouch

  8. Yes, he made strides in his durability and deserves atta boy accolades for playing the whole season.
    But at what cost? In order to achieve that goal and avoid injury (remember, he is one concussion away from ending his career), he became a Mr. 123 – a scripted one dimensional QB. With the fast receiver corps of Tyreek and Jaylen,this worked well against bad teams (hence the very good QB ratings), but against the good teams, this is a dead-end (hence the bad QB ratings).

  9. Admin, you know where I stand on Tua-I’m agreement with Flyerphin and Moonbear.
    My thoughts are purely what I have seen from Tua and of course, comparing the other QB’s in the league. Basically, Tua doesn’t have the “it” factor. He can’t read the field with efficiency-can’t do it. Giving him all this extra this and that, dumbing it down to make it simple for him bec he seems unable to understand a complicated system mentally; physically we are at a bigger disadvantage-cannot think fast on his feet. I don’t care if he threw enough yards to get to Mars, we don’t have a very smart QB that can handle it when the walls of the oline are closing in. This franchise is a long way off for a Super Bowl, getting there or winning it. I have no problem letting him go; and Grier while they are at it.

    1. Author

      As usual, I cannot wholeheartedly dismiss your points, because I agree with many things in there. I think we differ in that you think Tua is a lost cause, and I think he can improve. Can Lamar Jackson or Josh Allen improve? Most would say no. They are at their peak, and still fail to deliver a big playoff win year after year after year. I think Tua is currently beneath those guys, but he is not at his ceiling yet. Jackson and Allen have peaked without a title and have nowhere to go but down. Let’s assume, despite his ridiculous playcalling, that Mike McDaniel is not a fool. Let’s assume that he too sees Tua’s flaws, especially the inability to find a 2nd or 3rd read. His inability to extend a play. I just don’t see McDaniel and Tua spending the off-season practicing bombs to Hill. Instead, they’ll be fine-tuning Tua’s flaws. I agree that a 5th-year QB shold be at the top of his game, and he’s not there. But I’m not ready to give up. yet !

      1. How can you even get to a third read when 75% of your oline are backups? When the oline was healthy they were humming for some reason people don’t seem to remember that. Does Tua still need to improve upon his weaknesses absolutely. Is he the worst QB in football? He’s closer to the top than bottom according to all measurables and PFF. Fix the oline and we’ll see more…

  10. The above was from FinFanForever-Anonymous barged in!

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