If you stacked up all of the quarterbacks in the AFC East, where would Miami Dolphins’ quarterback Tua Tagovailoa stack up for you? Odds are, despite the fact that he hasn’t played a down in the NFL, Tagovailoa would sit high on most everyone’s list of rankings — except, of course, for NBC Sports’ Chris Simms.
Simms recently made waves with an assertion that Tua is less talented than new New England Patriots starter Jarrett Stidham — after ranking Tagovailoa as the 40th quarterback in the NFL entering this 2020 season.
“(Tua) is a creation of Alabama,” said Simms. “You don’t think Jarrett Stidham or like Justin Herbert would have set the world on fire if they got to play with four first-round receivers and two first-round tackles?”
Worry not, Dolphins fans! Hall of Fame tight end and Fox Sports analyst Shannon Sharpe will not stand for such slander — which is why he called it “ridiculous” to rank Stidham ahead of Tua.
“The system that you see at Alabama? Tua created. They were run the football, play defense. Now all of a sudden they throw the football and they don’t play defense nearly as well,” Sharpe said with a laugh.
“Come on Skip, we gotta stop this now. Tua is as good a prospect coming out — his ability to throw the ball, his anticipatory skills, his accuracy is second to none. Great touch, great leadership. And to say ‘oh, it’s because of —’ No! (Alabama) has had great athletes before. But they didn’t throw the ball like this with Julio (Jones). They didn’t throw the ball like this with Amari Cooper. With Calvin Ridley. They’ve had top-flight receivers. Tua created the system.”
Sharpe offers some good points regarding the lineage and history of the Tide’s offense — which entered new levels of passing efficiency under the direction of Tagovailoa. If we are going to be hesitant for ranking Tua Tagovailoa without any NFL reps to sample, that’s fine. But the assertion that he’s just a product of his system isn’t going to fly for many — Shannon Sharpe included.