Last year, while still with Miami, veteran Washington quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was a team leader who helped out rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
The Dolphins made Tagovailoa their starting QB midway through the season, and while Fitzpatrick easily could have been upset about the situation, he instead helped Tagovailoa out.
Fitzpatrick really wanted Tagovailoa to lead Miami to the playoffs. He ended up giving up his own opportunity to throw balls in practice so Tagovailoa had more time to throw.
The 17-year veteran didn’t even take reps against the defense in practice, basically making himself the third-string quarterback.
“I was fully into helping Tua. And at the same time, I wanted this young guy, who otherwise would get zero reps throughout the year, to have an opportunity because I was in his shoes once,” Fitzpatrick said on the ESPN Daily podcast.
“I sat there as a third-and fourth-string guy and just watched and watched and watched and never had any opportunity to get better.
“I saw it as a way to help Reid (Sinnett). I saw it as a way for me to give extra help to Tua. And I also saw it as a way to prove to myself that I could come out of the stands five years from now and still play this game.”
This year, Tua will be on his own, with no Fitzpatrick to help him along. It remains to be seen whether the second-year QB will take another step forward or struggle without Fitzpatrick by his side.