Trevor Lawrence and Tua Tagovailoa renew rivalry as Jaguars face Dolphins – .

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Trevor Lawrence and Tua Tagovailoa renew rivalry as Jaguars face Dolphins – .


Lieu: Stade Tottenham Hotspur Date: Sunday 17th October Start: 14h30 BST
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You just knew Tua Tagovailoa’s words would come back to haunt him.

The Miami Dolphins selected the quarterback with the fifth pick in the 2020 draft and seven weeks after the start of his rookie season, gave him the starting position.

Then, after winning his first three games as a starter, he said of his adaptation to the NFL: “I expected it to be a lot harder.”

He was benched in the next game and has been disappointing ever since, winning only half of his games. Eleven months later, BBC expert Osi Umenyiora is not the only one “not to be 100% convinced of him as a long-term answer to this offense”.

It is now his former varsity rival Trevor Lawrence, the first this year’s draft, who learns how difficult the transition is in the NFL.

Miami and the winless Jacksonville Jaguars swapped Florida for London this weekend, where their young quarterbacks face off for a well-deserved victory.

Are the Jaguars on the fallout from Meyer’s videos?

Jacksonville may have had the worst NFL record last season, but having the first pick in a draft featuring the greatest ‘must see’ prospect in a decade has helped persuade legendary college coach Urban Meyer to take his first job in the NFL at age 57.

It’s still a difficult start. After five games, Jacksonville and the Detroit Lions are the only teams to have won again this season. The Jaguars haven’t won since their 2020 opener and cross the Atlantic after 20 straight losses, the second longest losing streak of the Super Bowl era.

Even Jacksonville’s James Robinson, who rushed for a career-high 149 yards last week, is surprised. “I can’t really figure that out,” said the running back. “We have to find a way to win. “

And their task was made even more difficult by videos of Meyer, a 35-year-old married grandfather, partying with a young woman.

They went viral, forcing Meyer apologizes in public and privateexternal link ahead of last week’s 37-19 loss to the Tennessee Titans, while Jaguar owner Shahid Khan said his conduct was “inexcusable,” adding, “Now he must regain our trust and respect. “

“In a locker room, it’s all about these conversations with your coaches and that trust,” says BBC expert Jason Bell.

“Meyer has always been a great communicator in college and he needs to connect with his team now, to re-establish himself as a leader. He creates organizations, and I hope he can do the same in Jacksonville, but it just takes time.

“This year it’s about watching Trevor Lawrence, seeing exactly what he’s doing right, and then, in the years to come, rebuilding the offense around that. It’s all about growing, which is why it’s exciting to watch them, to see how they keep improving. “

Can Lawrence make history in London?

Lawrence knew he was not joining a winning franchise. But after just five games with Jacksonville, he suffered more losses in the NFL than in his high school and college career – he had a remarkable 86-4 record.

Only his fellow rookie Zach Wilson, whose The New York Jets lost last week’s game in London, threw more interceptions than Lawrence’s eight.

But Lawrence, who just turned 22, has not returned to his shell. He pitched for six touchdowns, averaged 229 passing yards per game and scored one rushing touchdown in each of the last two games.

Now he faces a Miami defense that allowed five touchdown passes as they slipped to 1-4 last week and, in the 30th regular season game to be played in London, Lawrence can become the first quarterback. rookie to win – Wilson was the fifth to try and fail.

“I saw a guy take risks, because he has to, but every week he always throws the ball, he doesn’t hesitate to shoot,” said Bell.

“He seems to improve his decision making a little bit every week. This is what we heard about Patrick mahomes early in practice. He was throwing a ton of interceptions every day.

“But you have to figure out how to throw the ball in the NFL. It’s tough, the windows are smaller so I like that he tries to do it every week. And for a guy that’s 6ft 6in tall he’s so athletic he can run.

“So I think he just figured it out. They will build the team around him and I love his future. If the draft was over, I would pick him number one again, without a doubt. “

Time for Tagovailoa to show he’s the right man for Miami?

In the 2018 College Football National Championship game, Tagovailoa replaced injured Jalen Hurts (now the Philadelphia Eagles starter) and his third touchdown assist gave Alabama an overtime victory over Georgia.

But for a nasty hip injury that prematurely ended his college career, Tagovailoa could have been the number one pick in 2020, instead of Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Hawaii lefty quarterback rose to prominence as he stepped off the bench to lead Alabama to victory in the College Football National Championship game in January 2018. The year after losing to Lawrence’s Clemson, who was beaten by Burrow’s Louisiana State University in 2020.

Concerns remain about his durability after Tagovailoa missed a week with a thumb injury last year, plus the last three weeks with cracked ribs, and despite a positive start, he was eclipsed by fellow rookies Burrow and Justin Herbert in 2020.

Miami favored a low-risk passing game that almost led them to the play-offs. Tagovailoa has a quick release and tended to check before taking the time to look down the field for a deep throw.

Now back from injury and with the Dolphins drafting wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, one of his favorite targets in Alabama, maybe it’s time for the 23-year-old to let go and show that he is. may be the quarterback for the Miami franchise.

“I want Tua to be the guy,” Bell said. “They’ve built the offense around his skills, as a distributor, but I’m not sure they’re even using Jaylen Waddle like he should be used. I think in the next quarter of the season they’ll be able to figure out who and what they are. “

Umenyiora adds: “Defensively they didn’t play as well as expected after last year, but they have a fantastic head coach. [Brian Flores] and good owners. I think this team will only get better. We just need to give Tua more time to see if he’s the right guy for Miami’s future. “

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