Some coaches want their quarterbacks, following a turnover, to get out of the way. Dolphins coach Brian Flores wants his quarterback to go try to make a tackle.
Flores was asked about his attitude toward such situations because Tua Tagovailoa tried to make a tackle during the preseason opener against the Bears on Saturday, after he threw an interception in the end zone early in the second quarter of the game.
“Yeah, I think that’s what he’s got to do,” Flores told reporters on Sunday. “When you make a mistake, which he did, you just move on to the next play. In that instance, offensive players become defensive players. I thought [running] Myles [Gaskin] made a very nice tackle on that, which kind of set us up in decent field position defensively, which turned into a stop and then good field position for us on the next offensive series. We talk to our guys about, if there is a turnover, you’ve just got to move on. We’re not going to just sit there and be upset about it. We’ve got to move on and try to get the defensive player on the ground and play the next play. Tua and really the entire offense did that. Everybody was running after the ball carrier.”
There still seems to be a balance involved in such decisions. In this specific case, Gaskin had things handled. Injury risk, at some point, outweighs the practical impact of having the quarterback pursue the ball carrier after a turnover by, as in this case, throwing himself non-throwing shoulder first toward the fray.
In 2015, the Bengals were on track to earn a bye. Quarterback Andy Dalton threw an interception. He made the tackle, injured his thumb, missed significant time, and there went the opportunity to earn a berth in the divisional round.
On one hand, football players need to be ready to play football. On the other hand, quarterbacks need to be able to play another day. Bottom line? Quarterbacks shouldn’t be acting like strong safeties after every turnover, or backup quarterbacks may end up playing for extended stretches of the season.