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Alabama in the Pros

Brian Flores emphatically denies he and Tua Tagovailoa had strained relationship

Tua Tagovailoa at line of scrimmage for Dolphins in 2020 game versus Broncos
Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

After three seasons as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, the team made the controversial decision to fire Brian Flores in pursuit of a new pathway.

Since then many fingers have been pointed by both sides even Flores accusing the owner Stephen Ross of offering to pay him to lose games amongst other things.

But one of the reasons many speculated that helped lead the Dolphins to move on from Flores was his relationship with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. After he was selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Tagovailoa hasn’t had the success of the other signal-callers selected in his class.

By most standards, Tagovailoa has underperformed for where he was picked and a chunk of the blame had been shifted towards Flores for not trusting or believing in the former Alabama star from the beginning.

This speculation led to Flores clearing the air during an appearance on the I Am Athlete podcast where he emphatically denied any rumors of a bad relationship between Tagovailoa and himself.

YouTube video

“This is an interesting topic because it wasn’t strained,” Flores said. “We had a good relationship. It was a player, coach relationship, and I think in a relationship like that the coach challenges the player and often times the player challenges the coach and I think that there was a great deal of respect between the two of us. So you hear these crazy kinds of narrative that’s out there, but this is a young man who works, who developed and got better over two years and I think he’s got a bright future. I wish him all the best. The world can think.

“Ask Tua. I’m here to say what I gotta say and you can ask him. I think he’ll say the same thing.”

In his two seasons with Tagovailoa as the quarterback, Flores and the Dolphins posted an overall record of 13-8 with no playoff appearances.

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