Colin Cowherd makes a living off hot takes. It’s part of the business, and that is fine. But sometimes he gets carried away, like he did on Thursday morning.
During his radio show “The Herd”, the Fox Sports 1 talking head claimed he had an epiphany regarding Miami Dolphins starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. He said that Tagovailoa won’t succeed in the NFL.
“So, two things have been true in my lifetime for quarterbacks,” Cowherd said. “First of all, don’t listen to anybody. Size matters. Of the 30 best quarterbacks of all time, 28 of them are big, over 6-2. The average great quarterback is, like, 6-2 and up. So, that’s a fact.”
His statement is correct, but we can’t ignore how many of those quarterbacks played during a different era. Offenses spread things out more nowadays. It makes the pocket less congested and gives shorter quarterbacks more of an opportunity to thrive.
Cowherd then turns his attention towards Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray, two undersized quarterbacks who have succeeded in the NFL, but he points out a difference between those players and Tagovailoa.
“Three small quarterbacks [Wilson, Murray and Fran Tarkenton] have worked, and they’re all run around guys,” Cowherd continued. “You can’t catch Kyler. Fran Tarkenton ran circles around people for 10 years. I watched. And then Russell does it, and Kyler does it, and Michael Vick did it. Tua is small and isn’t really that athletic.”
It is surprising to see Cowherd say Tagovailoa isn’t really athletic, but maybe it shouldn’t be.
Is the Alabama product the same explosive runner as Wilson, Murray or Vick? Absolutely not. But there is a significant gap between those guys and a stationary, pocket-only quarterback like Drew Brees.
That is who Cowherd believes Tagovailoa will have to be in order to be successful. Drew Brees.
“Can he be Drew Brees? Good God, that is asking a lot,” Cowherd said. “Drew Brees is the outlier in the history of football. Small, doesn’t have a huge arm, doesn’t run around, and wins. That’s the only prototype I get to use? That’s it? Tua’s got all the small but none of the wiggle.”
Somewhere along the way, Cowherd lost who Tagovailoa is as a player and quarterback. A quarterback can posses “wiggle” without running for 500-plus yards in a season. Eluding pressure in the pocket, escaping and making plays on the move is something Tagovailoa does extremely well.
tua with a nice run pic.twitter.com/hvCJmsDRNy
— Ty Wurth (@WurthDraft) January 9, 2018
This man Tua is just different 😮
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 2, 2018
— Hunter Ansley 🌭 (@hunteransley) January 9, 2018
You won’t see Tagovailoa make a lot of 40-plus-yard runs like he did against LSU in 2018, but he doesn’t have to. He’s not confined to the pocket like Cowherd suggests. He can win from inside or outside the pocket, and that is what gives him a chance to be successful.
Well, that and several other elite traits like accuracy, poise, leadership and a whole lot more.
If you want to watch the entire seven-minute segment from Cowherd, check it out below:
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) October 29, 2020
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.