But the guy keeping him on the bench said he’s been impressed by the effort the first-rounder is putting into learning.
Via Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com, Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said he spends more time talking to the rookie quarterback during games than he would in a normal setting, but he also understands that’s a large part of his job.
“I probably talk more on the bench than I normally would in-between series,” Fitzpatrick said. “I want him to kind of understand what I’m seeing and to be able to ask questions even if it is in a game-like setting. . . . It seemed like he saw the game pretty decent from the sidelines in terms of the stuff that we were talking about and the questions he was asking. It was good. It was a good start just to build on that communication now, just being another set of eyes for me to be able to trust.”
When Fitzpatrick is on the field, Tagovailoa is stationed behind offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, listening to the plays being called in his helmet, getting those “mental reps” that apprentices have to make do with. Gailey and Fitzpatrick have known each other for years, but the veteran play-caller said he thinks that whenever the rookie plays, he’ll be prepared.
“He’s one play away from having to play. I feel like he’ll go in and play well,” Gailey said. “He hadn’t been in a game at all so it’ll be a new experience for him. He’ll have to go in there with eyes wide open; but I think knowing the person that he is and knowing the type of preparation that he puts in, I think he’s going to be ready when his time is called.”
A large part of that preparation is Fitzpatrick being willing to mentor, a role he’s taken on comfortably.