Alabama in the Pros

Dolphins’ cornerback, Byron Jones expects ‘a big jump’ from Tua Tagovailoa in his second season

Tua Tagovailoa in the pocket about to throw a pass for Dolphins versus Chiefs
Jasen Vinlove - USA TODAY Sports

Outside factors wanted to see the Miami Dolphins move off Tua Tagovailoa, but that is not happening.

Brian Flores, head coach of the Dolphins, assured Tagovailoa he is the quarterback of the franchise.

He honored his words by getting the second-year player some help at wide receiver, and packaging some draft picks to get future talent around him.

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Miami traded out of the No. 3 overall pick but kept Nos. 6 and 18 in the NFL Draft.

Despite his roller coaster of a rookie season, Tagovailoa still recorded a 6-3 record as a starter.

He had nearly four 300-yard passing games and came within five points of defeating (27-33) Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

The native Hawaiian finished 2020 with 11 touchdowns to five interceptions. Some have used the offseason to write off Tagovailoa, but not his teammates. According to a report from Kevin Patra of NFL.com, Dolphins’ cornerback Byron Jones was on Good Morning Football.

During his interview on Thursday, he said the team ‘expects a big jump‘ from Tagovailoa in his second NFL season.

Jones said he knows how hard the former Alabama star has been working.

“He’s been a great kid,” Jones said of Tagovailoa. “Really good head on his shoulders. And that’s the beauty of it. We’re surrounded by a bunch of good guys who want to be great again. So I’m looking forward to seeing his jump. His contributions to the team have been great so far, but we’re looking for even something better this year. It’s exciting. I can’t wait to see him work his magic.”

This fall will mark two years since Tagovailoa suffered a horrible hip injury versus Mississippi State in college.

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He is in the best shape of his life, as he’s spent the offseason bulking up his body. Tagovailoa has also been sharpening his arm in training with receivers and former Crimson Tide teammates.

People were patient with names such as Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield, and both had success last season as third-year quarterbacks.

Flores sees something special in Tagovailoa.

He showed magic at the University of Alabama, but now he’s ready to silence his NFL critics.

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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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