With increasing chatter of a blockbuster trade for Deshaun Watson, Dolphins head coach Brian Flores did his best to back Tua Tagovailoa. In a chat with reporters this week, Flores stressed that he’s “excited” to work with the rising second-year pro.
“You think about his situation last year, coming off the hip and throwing him into the fire,” Flores said (Twitter link via Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel). “[He] started nine games and made a lot of improvement throughout the season. Had some up and downs. I’m excited about the Year 1 to 2 jump…This time, in the offseason, is really going to be helpful to him and all the rookies. I’m excited about working with him.”
Tagovailoa averaged just 6.3 yards per throw in his his rookie season. He finished out with eleven touchdowns against five interceptions in nine starts, 1,814 total passing yards, and a ~64% completion rate. Of course, there was nothing to suggest that the former Alabama star will be a bust, and he did go 6-3 as a starter. However, some have wondered whether the ‘Fins confidence in him has wavered, especially since they deployed Ryan Fitzpatrick as a reliever. Regardless of Tagovailoa’s long-term potential, Watson would give them a far better chance to win straight away.
Between Tagovailoa and the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft, the Dolphins could present the Texans with the best package of any club in the Watson sweepstakes. Still, new head coach David Culley continues to insist that Watson will be staying put. Meanwhile, in Miami, Flores says that he’ll continue to build the offense around Tagovailoa.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.