Everything You Need to Know as a New Dolphins Fan
It's not uncommon for Alabama fans to follow their favorite Crimson Tide athletes to the NFL and root for his new team. We won't call you a bandwagoner, if anything you are showing true loyalty. Pat yourself on the back.
So, after 7,442 yards, 87 touchdowns, a National Championship memory and a heart-wrenching story, Tua Tagovailoa is your favorite Alabama player of all-time. Great choice! The jersey was already on order when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced "With the 5th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select Tua Tagovailoa, quarterback, Alabama" from his basement in April. You are on top of things.
Maybe you were a bit worried, and rightfully so. Miami has been one of the worst franchises in the NFL this side of the millennium. The team's 20-year record is 149-171 (coming into the 2020 season.) That's been pretty rough, and the Dolphins are hoping Tagovailoa is the man to turn things around.
Surprisingly, the Dolphins are 3-3 to start the season, just one game out of first place in the AFC East. The Dolphins could very well be looking at a playoff berth with new NFL rules bringing an extra team in each conference into the NFL Playoffs.
Now that Tagovailoa is set to make his first NFL start on November 1st against the Los Angeles Rams, let's catch you up on everything you need to know as a newly dubbed Miami Dolphins fan.
Why isn't Tua wearing #13?
Odds are, you probably already know this one.
See, at Alabama, so many incredible players come through the program that the school can't retire jersey numbers. However, in the NFL, nearly every team participates in this tradition, including the Miami Dolphins.
Dan Marino, the man for which the number 13 is retired, is arguably the greatest Miami Dolphins player ever, and possibly, despite never winning a Super Bowl in his 17-year career.
Marino, at the time of his retirement in 1999 (making some sense now, eh?) set once-believed unbreakable career records in passing with 420 touchdowns and 61,361 yards.
Those are lofty numbers, but as a Tagovailoa fan, you know he has a knack for breaking records.
What does Tua's supporting cast on offense look like?
You'll be happy to know Miami's offense looks pretty good all things considered.
His top receiving threat is DeVante Parker, who is one of the league's most underrated receivers. In 75 career games played, Parker has 264 receptions for 3784 yards and 20 touchdowns. He's battled some injuries and terrible quarterback play in his six years of play, but you'll recognize his style of play as very similar to Jerry Jeudy.
He runs tight routes, has blazing speed and is one of the most dangerous receivers after the catch in the entire league. Expect the number one in the program and in your heart to look his way often.
At the tight end is Mike Gesicki, a rising star at tight end while at running back Myles Gaskin carries the load. Both are under-the-radar players at the national scale, but any Dolphin fan would know these two are vital building blocks on a young, developing offense.
The offensive line was a worry spot for many Tua fans when his name was called to South Beach but has been a bright spot for the team after the general manager Chris Grier spent three of his draft picks up front.
Austin Jackson, the 18th overall pick, has surprised many as a potential franchise left tackle while Solomon Kindley, a fourth-round pick, fits nicely at the right guard. Both still have some growing to do, but look to be well on their way to being solid long-term players. Meanwhile, second-round pick Robert Hunt will eventually be the right tackle keeping tabs on the Samoan Southpaw's blindside.
Can Tua really lead the Dolphins to the 2020 Postseason?
Already sitting at 3-3, the Dolphins truly do have a chance in the weakened AFC East division. In weeks 10-13, the Dolphins will see the Chargers, Broncos, Jets and Bengals, all teams with losing records. If the Dolphins take care of business in those games, the teal and orange will have seven wins racked up. Outside of a Week 14 matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs, every game on the Dolphins remaining schedule is winnable on paper.
Right now, the Dolphins hold the 16th best (worst?) passing offense in the NFL. Objectively, the teams passing numbers should go up exponentially with Tua manning the controls. At worst the team is 7-9 with him and at best (maybe) 10-6.
Now that you have a base knowledge of the 2020 Miami Dolphins, you can cheer on the Hawaiian Sensation like a true fan. When Number 1 takes the field on 11/1 at 1 pm, you'll be prepared to talk ball with life long Fins fans.