Flores: It's Not All About Tua

Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores is looking for improvement from Tua Tagovailoa, but from everybody else on offense as well
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If we didn't hear 500 times over the past few months, at least from the outside, we heard it at least 400 times.

The offseason for the Miami Dolphins was about adding players around Tua Tagovailoa to give the young quarterback the best possible chance to succeed.

Again, at least that was the perception.

But for Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, it's not all about Tua, as he made clear to longtime NFL writer Peter King.

“I never like to put it on one player,” Flores said, according to King's weekly Football Morning in America column. “I think we’ve got a lot of young players, and we’re looking for all of those players as well as really everyone on our team to improve in a variety of ways.

"If they’re putting all the work in, I expect them to improve, get better, and perform better. Tua is obviously at the top of that list. He’s been working. All signs point to — or I would say based on my experience — he’s doing everything necessary to make some improvements. That’s really all we can ask for. My thing is if you put the work in, the results will take care of themselves."

Tagovailoa clearly has been working in the offseason, as he has numerous documented via social media.

The hope obviously is that he can take a big step forward in his second season after a a rookie year that was successful in terms of won-loss record (6-3), but also had its hiccups, including getting pulled twice in favor of veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick in the second half after he had taken over as starting quarterback during the bye week.

“Last year’s situation is . . . we’ve talked about this numerous times," Flores said, per King. "If he had started the season, we wouldn’t have pulled him. We put him in. We’re in a playoff chase. At that point (second half in game 15, at Las Vegas, when Ryan Fitzpatrick entered in relief), it’s hey, we’ve got to do whatever we’ve got to do to try to win. But no, my confidence wasn’t shaken in him.”

The Dolphins made two major additions to the wide receiver corps that should help, signing Will Fuller V as a free agent and selecting former Alabama teammate Jaylen Waddle in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft.

The offensive line also should be improved, if for no other reason than the three 2020 draft picks who started — Austin Jackson, Robert Hunt and Solomon Kindley — should be better with a year of NFL experience. And that's not to mention the additions of veteran D.J. Fluker and the second-round selection of Liam Eichenberg, each of whom can play guard or tackle.