Along with starting at quarterback for the Miami Dolphins, veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick also knows his role is to tutor and mentor rookie Tua Tagovailoa.
Fitzpatrick takes pride in being in this position and thinks of passing along any tidbits or advice as paying it forward to Tagovailoa like other coaches and quarterbacks have done for him in his career.
And Fitzpatrick believes Tagovailoa, the No. 5 pick by Miami in the 2020 NFL draft, is going to be a great player based on what he has already seen from the young quarterback during roughly two months of Dolphins practices.
"We brought Tua in, and Tua has an amazing future," Fitzpatrick said on The Adam Schefter Podcast released Tuesday.
"It's been really fun to get to know him and work with him. He asks a lot of great questions, and he's really into it. He really enjoys the game. And that's been fun for me, being a guy that's able to provide some guidance for him and be there to answer any questions he has. I really enjoy that aspect of it because I feel like I'm tied into him and the success that he'll have whenever that time comes.
"There are a million different throws that he makes that I can't. Just watching him practice and all that, he's going to be a great player. For me, I'm going to continue to go out there and do my job for as long as they want me to."
Fitzpatrick told Schefter that Tagovailoa has a bright future because of two specific facets of his game.
"I've been around for a while and seen a lot of young guys. The two things that pop out to me about him are his accuracy and being able to throw with anticipation. And those two things, especially the anticipation part, is something that guys usually have to come into the league to learn and figure out, and he does a great job of that (already)," Fitzpatrick said of Tagovailoa.
"Those are the two things that have really popped out to me so far. And then, the other thing is his willingness to work and his willingness to ask questions, and his overall personality and how people tend to gravitate towards him because of the kind of guy is he off the field."
Fitzpatrick has led the Dolphins to a 1-2 start this season and is expected to retain the starting job as Miami prepares for Sunday's game against Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks (3-0) at Hard Rock Stadium.
Fitzpatrick said he's playing on borrowed time, and that he rediscovered his love for the game during the 2017 and 2018 seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and is continuing his ride with the Dolphins.
At some point, the Dolphins may make the move from Fitzpatrick to Tagovailoa.
But Fitzpatrick told Schefter he does not operate under the notion that he has to fend off Tagovailoa to keep Miami's starting quarterback job.
"I don't think I look at it as that," Fitzpatrick said. "Coach (Brian) Flores says all the time that the decisions they make will be in the best interests of the football team. So for me, I just have to continue to go out there and do my job, continue to put us in a situation to win the game each week. That's where my focus is."
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