Also for all of the had wringing about whether or not Tua can or will be good, his rookie season was not bad by any metric. He played, perhaps, too conservative at times. That is probably the biggest knock from last year. Also he wasn’t Justin Herbert. Ok.
He played in an offense where the skill players, the coaching, playcalling, and play design was optimized for Ryan Fitzpatrick. And that’s fine. But Tua would probably make pretty significant progress in an offense and with players that cater to his strengths.
He was also damned by Miami’s unexpected success. He was being asked to not make critical errors and let the defense do the heavy lifting. Shades of early Big Ben and Tom Brady. That does not mean that he isn’t capable of being Tuscaloosa Tua. We saw it in flashes against Arizona and KC where they took the handcuffs off and let Tua work.
Tua is not the problem. He may never be Dan Marino, or Deshaun Watson, or Drew Brees, but he showed enough flashes of brilliance that you have to feel like you can get Tuscaloosa Tua in Miami if you build the thing around him.
You're one of the more optimistic Dolphins fans on this board. That's not a bad thing, by the way. But when I read your posts on Miami (not the Pat's though, asshole), I tend to feel the points are well thought out and well reasoned. But they tend to skew towards either neutral or a positive (not always. I think you're realistic regarding roster construction and weaknesses). I think part of that is the solid organizational direction of the past few seasons, but this has been your style here since well before the team made a u-turn. With that said, despite our disagreements, you do bring really good knowledge for Dolphins info.
The reason I say all this isnt to critique your posting. It's because, since week 8 when Tua got the reigns, it feels like you've gone out of your way to make excuses for Tua and had complete blinders for his weaknesses. Even when you acknowledge his poor play, it almost always includes a caveat (hes rusty, Chan Gailey, other skill players, offensive line, etc). And while all those points have some validity, the results are what they are.
I cant remember the exact numbers, but I recall a good post made by @SMU_Sox
during the draft that expressed serious concern with Tua's ability to read past his first option (Something about the completion % dropping way more than expected versus his peers and historical numbers when going from first option to second option). Now, while I agree that its not fair to write the kid off after a half season, he has shown very similar issue with the Dolphins, and writing it off as Chan Gaileys fault seems like whistling passed the graveyard.
The Dolphins situation is great to be in. But at some point a team needs to stop playing it safe and push their chips to the center of the table. This parallels the Celtics situation pretty closely. Rebuilt with draft picks and trading PP/KG, built well organizationally, and put themselves in a position to build with young players OR trades. But instead of pushing their chips into the center of the table, they watched their best fungible asset last season (Memphis draft pick expected to be top 3) dissapear. Now they're stuck. A very good young team with no options to improve unless players take a superstar leap.
I know this post was kind of all over, but I guess the point is that the Dolphins have done well to acquire great assets as well as build a good foundation, but they cant keep kicking the can on a decision when to go all in. When the opportunity presents itself, they have a window and they have to take it. The choice came quicker than expected. Could Tua end up great? Sure. But we KNOW Watson is. If it takes Tua and the 3rd overall and a 2nd rounder, you take it and run. You're gambling on Tua. You're gambling on the 3rd overall being good. With the Dolphins roster, Flores, Watson, draft, and a good offseason? This is a SB contender. You dont gamble on that.
As a Patriots fan, I hope you dont get Watson. That's a data point, too.