Head coach Brian Flores strongly opposed the idea that the Miami Dolphins needed rookie Tua Tagovailoa to audition for the remainder of the 2020 season to find out if they wanted to pick another defender on the draft NFL 2021 or not.
“There’s a couple of things out there, let’s call it a source close to Dolphin’s thoughts, say we’re auditioning Tua. I’m just telling you about my thoughts. We brought Tua here because we believe in him, like all draft options. We believe in player development and daily player improvement”, said Flores. “That would be the opposite of letting someone try out 10 games. That’s just my thinking about that, hope everyone clears.”
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Sunday that a contributing factor to Dolphins’ decision to choose Tagovailoa as their starting midfielder in Week 7 compared to celebrity veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami with the first pick. Houston Texans first and second in draft NFL next year.
The Texans’ first round selection are expected to be in the top 10 and the 2021 NFL draft could offer attractive top midfield options among 10 people, including Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields’s State of Ohio. Dolphins also has their own first and second round options.
But Flores has made it clear that he is committed to sticking with Tagovailoa after the 2020 season and it looks like Dolphins will spend more time in the 2021 season building a team around Tagovailoa rather than adding a potential substitute.
Tagovailoa is set to kick off his second NFL match on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, and it is expected that he will remain the team’s starter for the rest of the season and beyond. 4-3 Dolphins are in the playoff game with a defense hitting 18.6 points per game at the lowest point in the tournament, giving Tagovailoa his first Sunday victory over Los Angeles Rams despite throwing just 93 yards.
In explaining his decision to arrest Tagovailoa a few weeks ago, Flores said that Tagovailoa was overall ready, improved in training and the feeling within the organization that it was time to meet the rookie because it was the best thing for the team.