Alabama in the Pros

Dolphins’ head coach, Brian Flores reiterates that the team is sticking with Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback

Tua Tagovailoa taking practice snaps before game versus Cardinals
Joe Camporeale - USA TODAY Sports

Brian Flores is tired of being addressed with questions about the quarterback position for the Miami Dolphins. As he enters his third season as head coach, he wants to remain with the player he chose at No. 5 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft.

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It was not a pretty rookie season for Tua Tagovailoa; nevertheless, it was not terrible either. The former University of Alabama standout produced a 6-3 record as a starter and nearly had four 300-yard passing performances.

Despite a 27-33 loss to Kansas City, Tagovailoa turned in 316 yards passing with two touchdowns. Chain Gailey’s play-calling as an offensive coordinator did Tagovailoa no favors, and Miami’s offensive line was subpar.

Also, Mike Gesicki was his most consistent receiving option.

If one listens to national media, the narrative is the Dolphins should move on from Tagovailoa.

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This is not the case for Flores. On Thursday, he told reporters that his focus is on helping his quarterback develop. Flores is committed to building a relationship with Tagovailoa and is ‘confident’ in him. Miami is one of the teams linked into the conversation for Deshaun Watson; however, Flores sees something special in Tagovailoa for his second season.

The 2018 Heisman finalist has been training his body and arm this offseason. When he suffered a dislocated right hip versus Mississippi State in 2019, people wondered if Tagovailoa would walk again. The idea was for him to redshirt his rookie season, but the native Hawaiian pushed himself and worked his way into a position where he was still taken early in the first round.

At Alabama, the masses saw how dynamic he was. He was challenged by Trent Dilfer at the Elite 11 competition and proved he was the best by winning Most Valuable Player at the event in 2016. Since the end of the season, the attention has turned to Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow at quarterback. People are raving about both players and names such as Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes II, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield, and Kyler Murray. Some state there is nothing impressive about Tagovailoa’s game.

The 2017 College Football Playoff National Champion sees the challenge and is set to work.

Should the Dolphins draft well, next season will be huge for Tagovailoa.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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