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Dolphins continue to chase down Dan Marino

It's difficult to characterize the Miami Dolphins' current quarterback situation as a competition or controversy.

Certainly, Ryan Fitzpatrick isn't about to go easy into a Sunday night; his die-hard play down the Dolphins' 2019 stretch was example of that.

But Tua Tagovailoa is most assuredly seen and forecast as the Dolphins' quarterback of the future.

And as Miami looks to rebuild itself into a contender, Tagovailoa is less chasing Fitzpatrick than he is Dan Marino, just like the more than 20 Dolphins signal-callers before him.

Since Marino retired after the 1999 season, the Dolphins have had 21 starting quarterbacks -- third-most in the NFL in that span, according to NFL Research.

And not since Marino in 1995 has Miami had a Pro Bowl quarterback -- the longest-active streak in the league, per NFL Research.

During that time, Ryan Tannehill was the only quarterback other than Tagovailoa drafted in the first round by the Fins. Tannehill made his first Pro Bowl as a member of the Tennessee Titans last season. Matt Moore never made a Pro Bowl as a Dolphin, but he did win a Super Bowl last season with the Chiefs. Chad Pennington, Jay Fiedler, Joey Harrington, Jay Cutler, Josh Rosen and on and on. No Pro Bowls, and in reality no true franchise quarterback since Marino left the mantle vacant.

Whenever it is that Tagovailoa, the No. 5 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, hits the field, it will be a huge moment. It will also be the first time he's played since suffering a hip injury on Nov. 16, 2019, with Alabama.

The Dolphins faithful are hoping it will be the beginning of a new franchise signal-caller finally taking the reins more than 20 years after one of the game's greatest of all-time ceded them.

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