Miami Dolphins second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is getting a lot of praise this month after getting a lot of trade-rumor articles written about him before the draft.
Ah, how time flies.
But while approval from his receivers over improved throwing technique is expected (what the hell else are they going to say?), getting compliments from the greatest quarterback in franchise history feels a little more noteworthy.
In an article from ESPN, Dan Marino was asked about Tagovailoa's development and didn't hold back the praise, saying, "He has all the talent in the world," among other things.
""He's been great. He's been awesome. He has all the talent in the world. Now it's just about him developing the relationship with the other players. It's been tough because he didn't have OTAs last year, a lot of the summer camp or the chance to play in exhibition games. All those things delay you somewhat. I'll tell you, he works his butt off. I'm really excited about him, his future and our future as a team." "- Dan Marino
Marino is an advisor for the Dolphins. Like Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker praising Tagovailoa for changing his mechanics and getting the ball out quicker a few weeks ago, Marino likewise is instilling confidence in Tua ahead of his second season. What else is he going to do?
And yet, let us not forget that a few months ago Dolphins fans and media pundits were advocating to trade Tua and draft picks for Texans QB Deshaun Watson. Then it was Russell Wilson. Some even floated the idea of trading up for Trevor Lawrence. Anyone but Tua, who faltered down the stretch of his rookie season and was called out by an unnamed teammate after it.
Of course, nothing amounted from the rumor mill. Tagovailoa remains the Dolphins starting quarterback heading into the 2021 season and the Dolphins hopes of building off last year's 10-6 campaign rest heavily on his performance. That's why Parker is backing his quarterback. That's why Marino came out and said what he said. They all want Tagovailoa to succeed in year two because they don't have any other option. Ryan Fitzpatrick isn't walking back through that door.
The trade rumors are now dead. The praise period has begun. Getting Marino's blessing is important. Fans should follow rank and file. What's more important, however, is performing on the field. That's all we're waiting on now.