Sports

Tua: ‘Means a lot’ that Flores publicly backed me

MIAMI — Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and head coach Brian Flores speak “every day,” but it’s what Flores told the rest of the team during a meeting Tuesday that resonated with him.

One day after Flores confirmed the Dolphins’ confidence in Tagovailoa despite rumors of the team’s interest in trading for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, Tagovailoa expressed his gratitude for the public support.

“I think it means a lot with it coming from the head coach,” Tagovailoa, the 2020 No. 5 overall draft pick, said Wednesday. “The support that I have from him and from the team, it means a lot. But for me, I’m just focused literally on trying to get our guys ready for next week.”

Flores did not specify what he said during Tuesday’s meeting but did confirm Tagovailoa as the Dolphins’ Week 1 starter against the New England Patriots.

“I don’t get into conversations I have with the team, players. Those conversations are private,” Flores said. “I will say that Tua is our quarterback. I think he’s had a good training camp, I think he’s made a lot of progress. I think he’s made a lot of improvement. We’re pleased with where he is. He’s going about his preparation for New England the way he should be.”

Flores added: “I think it’s important for players on the team to feel like they have the support of their teammates, their coaches and everyone in the organization. I think that’s very important.”

Tagovailoa started nine games as a rookie in 2020, completing 64% of his passes for 1,814 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions.

He spent this entire offseason entrenched as Miami’s starting quarterback, despite rumors that the team could trade for Watson.

With those rumors resurfacing last week, Tagovailoa’s coach and teammates reaffirmed their support for him as they prepare for their regular-season opener.

“I love every single quarterback here, and I’m sticking with whatever quarterback Coach Flo puts out there,” offensive lineman Solomon Kindley said. “I’m going to do my job no matter who he puts out there. Like, he said Tua, so I love Tua and I’m going to block for Tua.”

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