Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores doubled down on Tua Tagovailoa as his team’s starting quarterback in the midst of the latest round of rumors involving Deshaun Watson.
“I don’t really get into rumors — Tua is our quarterback,” Flores said on Friday when asked about Watson, who has been linked in potential trade talks with the Dolphins.
“We’re happy with the quarterback, our quarterback situation. I’ll leave it at that, which I’ve said multiple times.”
The Houston Chronicle reported Wednesday that a trade involving the Dolphins and Texans could be finalized this week.
Watson, who initially requested a trade from the Texans in January, faces 22 civil lawsuits alleging sexual assault and inappropriate behavior. He has yet to play this season.
Tagovailoa, 23, has produced modest returns since being selected by Miami with the fifth overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft.
He has thrown for 544 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions in three games this season. He missed three games with fractured ribs for the Dolphins (1-5), who are mired in a five-game losing skid.
Tagovailoa made nine starts for the Dolphins as a rookie last season, compiling a 6-3 record and completing 64.1 percent of his passes for 1,814 yards with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions. He also rushed for 109 yards and three scores.
Flores has been quick to praise Tagovailoa’s work ethic and play on the field.
“I think his preparation, the way he practices and the way he performs has been good. I thought he played very well last week,” Flores said. “I think his psyche is in a good place. He’s a confident kid, he’s a tough kid and really, he’s played in two games this year so he should have a lot of confidence in the way he’s played. We have a lot of confidence in him because of the way he’s played.
“He’s developing. I think this kid is smart, I think he’s, I think he’s talented. I think he’s accurate, I think he definitely has the opportunity to be a very good NFL player. … There’s always bumps in the road for anyone in any career, any profession. You have to work through those and you become better for it.”
Watson, 26, has passed for 14,539 yards, 104 touchdowns and 36 interceptions in 54 games (53 starts) over four seasons. The three-time Pro Bowl selection established career highs of 4,823 yards and 33 touchdowns last season while throwing a career-low seven interceptions.