One of the biggest questions marks heading into the 2020 season—besides the apparent pandemic—was whether or not Tua Tagovailoa was A) healthy and B) ready to compete for the starting job.
Well, after listening to Dolphins head coach Brian Flores talk to the media earlier today. I think we now have an answer.
Flores was asked whether or not there would be an open quarterback competition. Here’s what Miami’s head coach had to say.
“I think you always want competition. We’re in training camp, so every position is an open competition. Obviously some players are further ahead than others. I think we all kind of know and understand that. But yes, we want competition and there are no jobs that will just be handed out.”
This doesn’t come as a surprise, as it’s been the way Flores has operated things since he arrived on the scene last February. No player’s job is safe. And with hard work and a firm grasp of the offense, who knows how quickly Tagovailoa could get live-game reps.
Flores was also asked about Tua Tagovailoa’s health and clarified that he did NOT start the season on the PUP list. Here’s what Flores said when asked about Tua’s health and how they plan to bring him this season.
“Yeah, he is not on PUP. Obviously as you guys know, there’s an acclimation period here for the next, let’s just call it two weeks. There’s strength and conditioning and some walkthroughs, so there won’t be much strenuous activity. I shouldn’t say ‘there won’t be strenuous activity.’ There will be from a strength and conditioning standpoint, but from a football practice, drills – that standpoint – there won’t be much; but yeah, he’s through the physical and when we do get to practice, you’ll see him out there.”
He then went on to talk about what he expects from Tua and the rest of his players.
“We’re going to ask him to do the same as we’re going to ask every other player: to come in every day, having gone through the install from the night before, mentally prepared to go out there and practice, physically prepared to go out there and practice and try to improve every day. That’s all I can ask from the players. Try to take it one day at a time and take the meetings to the walkthrough, the walkthrough into the individual periods, the individual periods into the group periods, the group periods into the team periods and just take things one step at a time. I know there’s a lot of people that want to talk about Tua and I understand it; but at the same time, he’s a young player, this is his first NFL training camp. I think he’s got to take it one day at a time and not think about what’s realistic for the season. I think we just need to take a one day at a time approach. That’s been my message to him and it’s not just him, it’s really every player on this team. This is a different year. This is a different type of training camp. No one has gone through a training camp like this where a lot of meetings are virtual and there was no spring, there are no preseason games. No one has done this. Instead of looking into the future, I’d rather just take the one day at a time approach and that’s the message that I’m going to give to the team, as well.”
There’s a lot of hype surrounding the 2020 5th-overall pick and rightfully so. But for now, the Dolphins aren’t going to rush Tua into things. However, that doesn’t mean he won’t get a chance to compete immediately. And sooner rather than later, the Tua Tagovailoa era will commence!