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Tua Tagovailoa admits he didn’t know playbook well enough as a rookie

Chris Simms reveals where Tyrod Taylor and Tua Tagovailoa ended up in his 2021 Top 40 QB ranking.

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had an up and down rookie year after the Dolphins selected him at No. 5 overall.

He was coming off a hip injury that ended his collegiate career and didn’t have the benefit of an offseason program due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tagovailoa still compiled a 6-3 record as a starter, but he was benched for his ineffective play in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick in two of those games.

Tagovailoa has said he’s more comfortable heading into Year Two. But he admitted one of his issues in 2020 was his knowledge of the scheme — or lack thereof.

“I wasn’t comfortable calling plays,” Tagovailoa said Wednesday, via Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald. “I think the guys that were here last year were phenomenal. I just didn’t have the comfortability of checking plays, alerting plays and doing that. I just rode with the play, even if I knew it wasn’t going to work. I was going to try to make it work still.

“I didn’t actually know the playbook necessarily really, really good and that’s no one else fault but my fault. Our play calls were simple when I was in. I didn’t have alerts and checks. Where now, I feel comfortable and I can maneuver my way through these things now.”

That Tagovailoa feels more comfortable heading into Year Two is good news for the Dolphins, who made him a top-five pick. While he may not have looked as good as other top 10 picks Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert as a rookie, Tagovailoa still has plenty of time to develop into a franchise quarterback.