Cris Carter sees a lot of Drew Brees in Dolphins rookie Tua Tagovailoa

John Sigler
·2 min read

Cris Carter has seen a lot of football. Inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame back in 2013, the all-time great wide receiver knows what to look for at quarterback. And in evaluating Miami Dolphins rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, recently named the team’s starter, he’s come up with his personal player comparison: New Orleans Saints living legend Drew Brees.

“There are certain people that are born for certain things,” Carter said on The Rich Eisen Show. “And this kid is meant to be — Drew Brees was meant to lead an NFL team, right? You know Drew. This dude, ‘is a dude’s dude.’ And Tua is the same way. He’s funny, he’s charismatic. Guys on the team love him. He’s got special, special arm talent.”

Brees is going to join Carter in the Hall of Fame someday, so it says a lot of Tagovailoa’s prospects that he’s drawing this sort of talk before starting his first NFL game. But both quarterbacks are known for their poise in the pocket and deadly accuracy, as well as their leadership qualities.

They also aren’t working with the greatest physical gifts (Tagovailoa weighed in at just 6-foot-0, 217 pounds at this year’s NFL Combine) and have recovered from career-threatening injuries, like Brees’ infamous rotator cuff tear with the Chargers and Tagovailoa’s dislocated hip at Alabama. They’re each resilient.

Brees was a sophomore at Purdue the year Tagovailoa was born. The biggest difference between the two of them, besides age, might be that Tagovailoa throws left-handed. On paper, anyway. We’ll know for sure once Tagovailoa has put together his own body of work in this league. But with veteran backup Ryan Fitzpatrick playing so well to start the year, it says a lot about what Tagovailoa has shown in practice to give the Dolphins coaches confidence that he’s ready to take the wheel.