Doug Gottlieb: “I feel like Tua is looking more and more like another left-handed quarterback who was super talented, had a great college career, and has turned out to be an average to below-average pro… Matt Leinart was a Heisman Trophy winner and was supposed to be the next Joe Montana. Maybe he lacked the arm strength and power of others, but what he had was football savvy, he was just athletic enough, he had a great touch, great feel, was a great leader, but it never truly came together for him in Arizona… We just had the 15-year anniversary of Texas taking down USC in the Rose Bowl. That Matt Leinart team had Lendale White, Reggie Bush, Dwayne Jarrett, Steve Smith, and Dominique Bird… Alabama last year had Najee Harris, Jerry Jeudy, Devonta Smith, and Henry Ruggs. He was surrounded by first-round draft picks. Any ball that is slightly misthrown you make up for, and it’s really hard to tell exactly how good he is. The similarities with Leinart are that he’s a great leader, he’s got great touch -- is he athletic? Nah. Is he that strong? Nah. But he just finds a way to win games, make the right throws, and make the right read. WELL, YEAH DUMMY, it’s a lot easier when you have better talent around you than everybody else… You’re supposed to have superpowers when you’re drafted that high and that well-regarded, and Tua is just not that guy… When I see Tua Tagovailoa I see Matt Leinart… It doesn’t mean you can’t win with him, but boy is there a lot of buyer’s remorse when the guy drafted after him at quarterback, Justin Herbert, has all those tangible things that Tua doesn’t have.” (Full Audio Above)
Listen to Doug Gottlieb explain why he thinks Tua Tagovailoa could be following the same unfortunate NFL path as former Southern Cal Trojans legend Matt Leinart, as Doug thinks both guys coming from two of the most talented teams in college football history have suffered from the exposure of having to perform at the NFL level with below-average individual raw talents.
Tagovaila was a national champion at Alabama and was the fifth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. In his rookie season he finished 26th in QBR, 30th in yards per attempt, and second to last in the NFL in yards per game.
Leinart was also a national champion at USC, and was the tenth overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. However, he would start in just 18 games a pro, and average just 123.2 passer yards per game, with a 15/21 career TD/INT ratio.
Check out the audio above as Doug details the parallels between the left-handed NCAA legends who both struggled in their rookie seasons.