Reports from ESPN and other media outlets over the past week have seemed to indicate the Miami Dolphins see the 2020 season as a chance to audition quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. The thought process indicates that Miami, holding two first-round picks in 2021 with the potential that the pick acquired from the Houston Texans could be a top five selection, want to feel confident they made the right choice of a quarterback in 2020, or else they would consider using their picks in 2021 to add another signal caller. With players like Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, and Trey Lance expected to be among the top picks next year, Miami could look to move from Tagovailoa to one of those players.
Except, on Thursday, head coach Brian Flores seemed to slam the door on that idea. Asked about the 6-foot-3, 220-pound quarterback prototypes and how Tagovailoa - and this week’s opposing quarterback, the Arizona Cardinals’ Kyler Murray - both do not meet that standard. Flores started to answer that, but quickly turned it to address the “audition” for Tagovailoa this year. “Now that you mention the quarterback, there were a couple of things out there, let’s call it a source close to Dolphins thinking,” Flores explained. “They’ve been saying that we are auditioning Tua and I’m just going to tell you about my thinking. We brought Tua here because we believe in him. The same as all of the other draft picks. We believe in developing players. I think you guys have heard me talk about improving players on a daily basis. That would be the opposite of giving somebody a 10-game audition. I guess that’s my thinking on that, just so everybody’s clear. What was the rest of your question? You just kind of piqued something that had been on my mind.”
Flores was not done with the topic, adding later, “I’m comfortable with what comes out of these 10 games. I think since I’ve been here, I think everybody has heard me talk about the development of players, improvement on a daily basis. So I just don’t see how someone close to the Dolphins thinking could say that this would be a 10-game audition. I’m not sure where or who that came from. Just put that out there.”
Flores clearly wants the media to know, there is no plan to look at Lawrence, Fields, Lance, or any other quarterback early next year. The team believes in Tagovailoa and he is their starter. It is not an audition.