On a scale from 1-10, let’s say that Tua HATERS are a ONE, and Tua LOVERS are a 10.
|HATE TUA’s GUTS, Let Him Walk
|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.