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Dolphins head coach Brian Flores provided the latest update, via Peter King of NBC Sports:
“I never like to put it on one player. 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 had an up-and-down rookie year after being taken No. 5 overall in the 2020 NFL draft. He had 1,814 passing yards in 10 appearances (nine starts), totaling 11 touchdown passes and five interceptions.
Though he was efficient with a 64.1 completion percentage and 87.1 quarterback rating, the offense often stalled with him under center, and he was benched at times for veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The Dolphins had a chance to earn a playoff spot going into Week 17, but Tagovailoa struggled against the Buffalo Bills with three interceptions in a 56-26 loss.
Despite the question marks, Tagovailoa will go into his second year as the unquestioned starter. Fitzpatrick left for the Washington Football Team, and the Dolphins didn’t add another quarterback in the draft, only signing Jacoby Brissett in free agency.
Miami also invested in the rest of the offense, signing William Fuller V in free agency before drafting Jaylen Waddle, a former teammate of Tagovailoa at Alabama, with the No. 6 overall pick.
The pressure is now on the young quarterback to take advantage of the opportunity.