NFL Network analyst and former first-overall NFL Draft pick David Carr appeared on NFL Total access on Friday. During the appearance, he was asked about the Miami Dolphins and their future with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. He heaped the praise on Miami’s second-year quarterback, who he believes will turn into Steve Young as he continues to grow in the league.
“I just think back to when I went from my rookie year to my second year and how much more comfortable I felt,” Carr began. “So Tua’s going to be in the same situation, as all young quarterbacks are. I thought he played really well. And when you look at the film, you see similarities, and you see why people get excited and why the Miami Dolphins are excited. He looks like Steve Young. I mean, that’s the guy he is going to turn into. It’s just going to take a little time.”
The clip, which you can watch below, then included several plays from both Tagovailoa and Young as Carr demonstrated some of the similarities between the two players. “You’ve got boot action, you move him out of the pocket, he sees everything very well,” Carr continued. “He gets through his first two progressions. He has the over-route right in front of him, makes a nice throw over four or five defenders, keeps it low to protect his football player, and again, it looks just like Steve Young. He’s the same type of player.”
Tagovailoa appeared in ten games for Miami, starting the final nine contests of the season. He trhew for 1,814 yards on a 64.1 percent completion rate with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions, giving him am 87.1 passer rating as a rookie. In his rookie season, Young threw for 935 yards on a 52.2 percent completion rate with three touchdowns and eight interceptions, giving him a 56.9 passer rating in five games played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Young started 14 games for the Buccaneers in his second season, throwing for 2,282 yards with eight touchdowns and 13 interceptions with a 53.7 percent completion rate, giving him a 65.5 passer rating. The Buccaneers, who finished 3-16 in games started by Young, decided he was a bust after two years, drafted Vinny Testaverde and shipped Young to San Francisco, where he served as the backup to Joe Montana. Young assumed the top spot in the depth chart in 1991, which Montana was injured, and over the final nine years of his career, he was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, a three-time First-Team All-Pro selection, a three-time Second-Team All-Pro selection, a two-time NFC Offensive Player of the Year, a one-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year, a four-time NFL Passing touchdown leader, a six-time NFL passer rating leader, a five-time NFL completion percentage leader, a Super Bowl MVP, and a two-team NFL MVP.
“It took Steve Young a while to morph and kind of grow into that All-Pro, MVP-type player,” Carr stressed. “But [Tua] has the same type ability as Steve. I know they are left handed, but that is not where the similarities stop.”
Returning to the film break down, Carr explained, “This is one of the best plays I saw all year. [Tua] slides away from this outbreaking route, had pressure in his face. People also say, ‘Oh, he’s undersized, maybe he can’t see down the field.’ That’s crazy. This is a fantastic play.
“Steve Young, undersized guy, the same thing. Pressure in his face, but he understood space, he understood where to move, and Tua has this same ability, to slide over. And this is actually an easier throw than the one Tua made by a Hall of Fame player.”
Young finished his career with a 64.3 percent completion rate, 232 touchdowns, 107 interceptions, and a 96.8 passer rating. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005.
Young also ran for 4,239 yards with 43 touchdowns in his career. Tagovailoa ran for 109 yards with three touchdowns las year.
“This last one is a lot of Steve Young. Watch him move in the pocket, buying time, keeping plays alive with his feet. He’s not just a consistent, accurate passer from the pocket. He can get you yards on the ground as well. I think the biggest thing for Tua is let’s just have some patience. The Miami Dolphins clearly have patience. They didn’t go out and get another quarterback. Sure, there were talks about maybe getting another one, but where did those talks really come from? I think they love the fact that they have Tua. I think he is going to be a great quarterback. I think he learned a lot from Ryan Fitzpatrick. And he is just going to take that next jump and help this team get to the playoffs.”
Asked if the Dolphins will reap the benefits now for playing Tagovailoa last year, Carr replied, “Yeah, I think so. It was honestly, for me, being in those quarterback rooms, that could go in a bad direction. That was a brilliant play by the head coach, by the staff, by everyone involved, and you even have to give Ryan and Tua some credit there. Just the way they managed the entire year with both those guys playing. You could tell they are high-character guys. I am super excited to watch [Tua] now as this team becomes his team going forward.”
If Tagovailoa comes anywhere near the career of Young, the Dolphins have themselves a special quarterback. Carr seems to believe that is exactly what to expect to see over the remainder of Tagovailoa’s time in Miami.
Check out the clip via NFL Network’s Twitter account: