Dolphins offensive coordinator says comparing Tagovailoa to Fitzpatrick is apples to oranges

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) looks to throw against the Denver Broncos during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (David Zalubowski, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

DAVIE, Fla. – Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is trying to work his way back from a thumb injury that kept him out of Miami’s 20-3 win over the Jets on Sunday.

On Tuesday, offensive coordinator Chan Gailey talked about his rookie protege.

Gailey said, “I didn’t really get a chance to talk to him after the game about how he felt. But, just knowing him, I know he wanted to play. I don’t know until we get back into the office Wednesday what the status is, but I know he’s working hard to get ready, he’s a tough guy.”

Gailey compared Tagovailoa to veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick in terms of his ability to change plays.

Gailey said, “Not to the level of Fitz. Very few people have that ability. He’s an amazingly smart guy. Tua hasn’t been in the offense six games yet. So it’s like comparing apples and oranges. Is he where Fitz is? No, he’s not. But is coming a long way and making progress? Yes, very definitely.”

Gailey was asked about having Tagovailoa make more contested throws.

Gailey said, “Fitz had last year with all these receivers, so he knows what to expect, how to read them, how to ready body language, how to read break points. Tua has had what? Four games with these guys and so I think there’s a learning process that goes on. You have to get a feel for it... Is Tua at that point yet, no. But I think we will get there at some point in time. I’m hoping it’s sooner than later. I think he’s getting a better idea of it.”

Gailey emphasized that Tagovailoa simply doesn’t have as much experience with the receivers yet.

About the Author:

David Lang is executive producer of the Local 10 sports department.