Tua Tagovailoa can learn from Ryan Fitzpatrick 'recklessness' for Miami Dolphins
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Last Updated: 26/09/20 10:40am
Miami Dolphins rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa could learn from the 'recklessness' of veteran starter Ryan Fitzpatrick, according to former NFL wider receiver Nate Burleson.
Tua, the No 5 pick in the 2020 NFL draft, is not expected to play this season as the Dolphins stick with 37-year-old Fitzpatrick after he steered a struggling team to a 5-11 record last year with his improvisational style of quarterback play.
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Fitzpatrick, who has bounced around the league, playing for eight different teams in a 15-year career, threw two touchdown passes and ran in for another in Miami's 31-13 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night, and Burleson believes the popular figure is the perfect mentor for Tua.
"Fitzpatrick is a dude who has moved around, obviously, but one who has also endeared himself to every fan base," Burleson said on Good Morning Football (weekdays at midday on Sky Sports NFL).
"The way he plays is not the traditional quarterback play of dropping back, hitting the open guy.
"He leaves the pocket, is a little bit reckless, and instead of sliding, he'll take a hit; instead of trying to protect his body, he'll throw it out there.
"Instead of being a little bit more reserved with some of his throws, he'll take a risk, which is why he'll have a multiple interception game every now and then.
"But the reason why I love the way he plays is because Tua is on the sideline.
"We know Tua is a guy who is going to take care of the rock, he's traditional, makes good decisions, doesn't throw games away, but I want him to have that little bit of recklessness.
"And who better to learn that from than a guy like Fitzpatrick? That's going to make Tua a better quarterback when he does step on the field."
Burleson's GMF colleague Peter Schrager, however, believes it will still be some time before Tua sees action, adding that the Dolphins players love playing for Fitzpatrick - even fighting over who gets to sit next to the charismatic QB in team meetings.
"There is a charisma and attitude that he brings, that maybe some of us - me included - are short-sighted when we're calling for Tua [Tagovailoa] before a game," said Schrager. "They're 1-2 [the Dolphins] and right back in the mix.
"Gosh, do they love playing for him. He goes out there and plays like a guy that wants to win for No 11, No 73 and 77.
"He scored a touchdown and gave the ball to the center, like 'you spike it'.
"Myles Gaskin - a young, second-year running back - had a great quote, saying 'we race to the offensive meeting room to see who can sit next to Fitzpatrick first'. That's how much they love playing for this guy.
"Tua was smiling on the sidelines. He's going to be the quarterback of the future but, in the meantime, it's going to be really difficult to convince that locker room that Fitzy's not the guy when they play for him that way."
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