The hype felt by Dolphins fans leading up to the first two regular season passes of Tua’s career was real – and honestly well deserved.
To best understand how the moment felt when he trotted onto the field for the first time, I want to go back in time.
Over the previous few seasons, the team had experienced quite a bit of turnover at the position due to injury and performance. A quick refresher:
The 2016 season was the year Ryan Tannehill partially tore his ACL, giving way to Matt Moore to finish the season – and the teams first and only playoff game since 2008.
- Tannehill: 12 games
- Moore: 4 games and a playoff game
The 2017 season was the year Ryan Tannehill fully tore his ACL in training camp resulting in the team signing Jay Cutler to come in and lead the team in his absence. Matt Moore would also start two games this year.
- Cutler: 14 games
- Moore: 2 games
The 2018 season included borth Ryan Tannehill and Brock Osweiler seeing extended time as the team wrapped up with Adam Gase era with an 7-9 record.
- Tannehill: 11
- Osweiler: 5
The 2019 season brought with it not only a new Head Coach in Brian Flores but two new quarterbacks in Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen en route to a 5-11 record.
- Fitzpatrick: 5-8
- Rosen: 0-3
For those keeping track at home, that’s six different starting quarterbacks in four seasons. While Dolphins fans, like myself, are ride or die this was a hard thing to experience.
Please Flo, give us just a glimpse of Tua!
As we fast forward to week 6 of the 2020 season, amidst a 2-3 start, the Dolphins found themselves up 24-0 against the division rival New York Jets.
38 year old quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, then in his 16th season, was 18 of 27 for 191 yards and well on his was to a 3-3 record as the teams starting quarterback. With the game well in hand late in the fourth quarter, Brian Flores made the decision to sit the veteran and give fans a glimpse at the future.
As Tua put his helmet on and began to run onto the field, I can remember feeling goose bumps. After hearing about Tua for what felt like a lifetime (he was the favorite for the majority of Fins fans leading up to the 2020 draft), it was finally time to see him take his first snap.
Tua would go on to complete both of his passes for 9 yards and a first down. While not much in terms of impact on the box score, this was a monumental moments for Dolphins fans and Tua alike.
Not only will I never forget those two passes, but I’ll never forget the shot of Tua sitting on the field hours after the game ended cherishing the moment. The future was here. #InTuaWeTrust