For South Florida football fans, if something has Dan Marino’s seal of approval, it has to be the real deal... right?
Count second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa among the things with said approval. Speaking with ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe, Marino explained what he’s seen from Tagovailoa that his him excited about a potential year-two leap from the 2020 fifth-overall pick.
“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,” Marino said. “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.”
Marino knows that Tagovailoa, despite his 6-3 record as a starter and the frequent glimpses he provided of what could be should he fully develop, underwhelmed at times last season. There were too few explosive plays and not enough consistency in churning out first downs. That said, he’s confident that Tagovailoa is already on the road to making the coveted year-two leap. “As time goes on you, you get a better handle [of things]. You know your people. That’s what OTAs is about, getting your timing down,” Marino explained. “He played a lot last year and when he played, we won games. We almost got in the playoffs. All that is a positive. You try to build from the positives. He wants to be really good. And in time, he’s going to get there because that’s what type of kid he is.”
The Miami Dolphins have had 22 starting quarterbacks who all attempted to stake their claim as Miami’s franchise QB of the future since the franchise’s most beloved player retired back in 2000. If Tagovailoa can make good on the aqua and orange GOAT’s words, there’s a chance that number can finally stop climbing, and new history could be made in South Florida.
To read more from Marino’s interview with Wolfe, including Marino’s current role with the Dolphins organization, how his health has developed in retirement, and his hopes for this new iteration of Miami’s franchise under head coach Brian Flores, be sure to check out the rest of Wolfe’s article over at ESPN.com.