Veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who played for the Miami Dolphins the last two seasons and served as a mentor and eventual backup for Tua Tagovailoa, expects a big Year 2 from the Dolphins young quarterback.
Tagovailoa’s future with the Dolphins remains up in the air as Miami has been consistently linked to a potential Deshaun Watson trade, with Tagovailoa being involved in a potential blockbuster deal.
Despite all of the rumors, and an underwhelming rookie season, Fitzpatrick sees big things for Tagovailoa moving forward.
“Everything is going to be a little more comfortable this year,” Fitzpatrick said during an interview on ESPN, via ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe. “Playing in the league is going to be a little more familiar, your routine through the week and on road games. He’s no longer trying to figure out where the grocery store is, where he’s going to live or what car he’s going to drive. All that stuff is figured out. He can solely focus on being an NFL QB.
“To have an offseason, to have repetitions, to have some sense of continuity with [co-offensive coordinators] George Godsey and Eric Studesville in his ear calling the plays and working with him. All that stuff points to him having a much better season this year and continuing to progress as a quarterback. That’s the most important thing for him — progression.
“They drafted him in the top five for a reason, with his skill set and what he can do. There are very few people on this planet who can do that. For them to be fully bought in and believe in him, he’s going to do the same thing. He’s going to buy into what they’re coaching, and I think good results are going to come from it.”
Fitzpatrick, 38, also shared some advice on dealing with the Watson rumors.
“That’s the nature of being a QB in the spotlight,” Fitzpatrick said. “Unless you’re winning the Super Bowl, there are always going to be questions and rumors. You look at a guy like Jared Goff, who was in the Super Bowl a few years ago and a No. 1 pick, now he’s on another team.
“I saw Tua’s comments from the other day. The advice I would give him and what he’s going to do is put your head down, you go to work, you tune all that stuff out and you let your presence, leadership ability and play on the field doing all the talking for you. There’s always going to be rumors. There’s always going to be haters and doubters. As long as you have the belief in yourself and a team that believes in you because of how you carry yourself every day, that’s what matters. It gets harder and harder as social media is such a big part of everybody’s life now to tune it out, but that’s what he has to do, and that’s what I think he’s going to do.”
Fitzpatrick will now look to the offseason where he could find himself on a new team, but admitted that he’ll “never say never” in regards to a potential return to the Dolphins next season.
“I love being out there,” Fitzpatrick said. “I love playing. I love the grind. I love the adversity with my teammates. I love being part of a team. These decisions have become heavier in recent years with some of that stuff, but I’ve got a really supportive family and looking forward to continuing on and playing next year. All things being equal, I want to be out there on the field playing. It’s just a lot more fun for me to be playing than it is to be sitting and watching. I’m going to see what’s out there and make an informed decision with my family.”