Ryan Fitzpatrick ‘thought it was a joke at first’ when Dolphins benched him for Tua Tagovailoa last season

Ryan Fitzpatrick had a solid start to the 2020 season with the Miami Dolphins, but he was still benched in favor of Tua Tagovailoa.

At the time, the veteran quarterback made it known that he didn’t agree with the move. In a recent interview with The Athletic’s Robert Mays, Fitzpatrick elaborated on those thoughts. 

“I have a ton of respect for (Flores), and we have a very good relationship,” Fitzpatrick said. “But I thought it was a joke at first. ‘We’re putting Tua in?’ I was floored.”

He added: “That was my team… I fought through the s–t with those guys. I get the way that the NFL works. I get it. But to have it happen the way it did ….”

Former Dolphins offensive coordinator Chan Gailey was also surprised by Flores’ decision to bench Fitzpatrick, saying, “It was a totally new offense [for Tua]. We were just starting to hit our stride. We’d won two in a row and scored a bunch of points and moved the ball well. It came as a shock to me.”

Tagovailoa had a solid rookie season, going 6-3, completing 64.1% of his passes for 1,814 yards and 11 touchdowns against five interceptions. He also ran for 109 yards and three scores. 

However, the 23-year-old will have to be even better in his sophomore campaign with the Dolphins. He has no one to lean on if he struggles, with Fitzpatrick now on the Washington Football Team. 

The Dolphins are Tagovailoa’s team now. If he doesn’t impress over the next several seasons, Miami might be looking for a new quarterback. For now, though, we’ll just have to wait and see how the 2021 season goes. 

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