Tagovailoa’s decision to rock Fitzpatrick’s jersey obviously is a sign that it’s unlikely any sort of potential rivalry with his fellow quarterback will develop anytime soon. His comments during the media session confirmed as much as well.
“I thought I can break the ice making you guys laugh wearing a Fitz jersey, because Fitz, he is very personable as well.”
He adds that his new friend and mentor is a “very, very down to earth person, very humble.” Tua continues, as transcribed by Phinmaniacs. “This guy gets it. I don’t know what it is, but he gets it.”
While Fitzpatrick has been tabbed as the Dolphins’ Week 1 starter, the veteran signal-caller has insisted he’s happy to be a mentor to Tagovailoa.
“I don’t know how much time it will be before Tua will be in the lineup. I know that I am the placeholder,” Fitzpatrick said earlier this month, via the Palm Beach Post. “We’ve already had that conversation. I’ve told him, ‘I’m going to do the best I can to lead this team and win football games when I’m out there.’ . . . Whenever it is that Tua gets his chance, whether it’s early or late or whenever, I’m going to be his biggest cheerleader.”
It remains to be seen when — or if — Tagovailoa usurps Fitzpatrick this season and becomes the Dolphins’ starting quarterback. The Dolphins are expected to take it slow with the rookie, but there is a belief that the team may not necessarily redshirt the quarterback as originally expected.
Fitzpatrick and Tagovailoa clearly enjoy a friendly rapport, and the bond the two have already formed is to the veteran’s credit. Had Fitzpatrick greeted the rookie’s arrival with less enthusiasm, Tagovailoa surely would not have donned his jersey for a press conference.