The Miami Dolphins have failed to make a definitive statement about Tua Tagovailoa being their quarterback beyond the NFL trading deadline next Tuesday, but Tua himself is confident that will be the case.
During his weekly media session Wednesday, Tagovailoa hinted that head coach Brian Flores has made that commitment to him in a private discussion.
Tua made the comment when he was asked whether it would make him feel good to hear the Dolphins publicly declare their support for him more powerfully than Flores’ repeated comment that “Tua is our quarterback.”
“Honestly, I don’t base my emotions off of who says anything about me or who’s saying what,” Tua said. “All I can do is my job and do it to the best of my capabilities. Everything else, it’s out of my control.
“I have the utmost confidence and trust that I am the quarterback of this team and just off of conversations that I’ve had with Flo and whatnot — obviously stays between us — but, yeah, I feel very confident that I’m the person.”
Flores’ public comments don’t go far enough because “Tua is our quarterback” will be accurate until the time he’s not the Dolphins’ quarterback, and that could be anytime if they make a trade for embattled Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.
And reports suggesting Dolphins interest in making a trade for Watson haven’t stopped since the offseason, picking up again as the trading deadline approaches.
So not surprisingly Tua found himself answering questions — directly or indirectly — about Watson and about his standing with the Dolphins during his media session Wednesday.
Tua was forced to deal with those questions because neither Flores nor owner Stephen Ross at the owners meetings Tuesday have squashed the idea of a Watson trade when given the chance beyond Flores stating that “Tua is our quarterback,” which again doesn’t go nearly far enough in terms of an endorsement.
So some of the questions Tua fielded on this day certainly weren’t the norm for a starting quarterback and had to be a tad uncomfortable to answer.
For example, Tua was asked whether the thought has crossed his mind whether he’ll be the Dolphins’ starting quarterback at this time next week or whether it’ll be Watson.
“I really don’t think about it,” Tua said. “The only time I’m really hearing about it, like I’ve said it before — sorry, (director of media relations Anne Noland), that I have to bring it up — but if Anne is kind of telling me what’s going on within the rumors or if my agent calls me, that’s really when I hear it. Other than that, I don’t really hear it.”
Another question dealt with whether Tua would like for the Dolphins to come out and publicly and strongly endorse him.
“For me, I don’t have control over any of that,” was Tua’s response. “For me, I’m just focused on the guys in the building, with my teammates. We don’t really have time as professionals, I would say, to be thinking of a lot of outside noise while we’re preparing day in and day out for opponents like we have right now, the Bills.”
And then there was the one asking whether Tua feels wanted by the organization.
“I don’t NOT feel wanted,” Tua said. “That’s what I can say.”
It was, quite frankly, an unusual media session, but then again this is an unusual situation that’s featured the Dolphins, and all things considered Tua handled himself as well as could expected under difficult circumstances.