'Tua is our quarterback,' Dolphins head coach Brian Flores says amid Deshaun Watson reports

No. 5 pick in last year's draft says 'it means a lot' to hear
Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores and QB Tua Tagovailoa look to field during 2021 preseason game against Atlanta Falcons
Posted at 10:56 AM, Sep 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-02 10:57:35-04

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — If the Miami Dolphins are pursuing Deshaun Watson as has been widely reported, head coach Brian Flores isn't giving up on Tua Tagovailoa after just one season.

"I will say that Tua is our quarterback," Flores told reporters Wednesday, one day after the Dolphins released their 53-man roster ahead of the regular season.

Tagovailoa, last year's No. 5 overall draft pick, remains on the roster. Watson, the former-first round draft pick who is facing sexual assault allegations, is still a member of the Houston Texans.

Beyond that, though, Flores and the Dolphins aren't saying much.

Flores praised Tagovailoa's play during training camp, while remaining silent about reports that the team was trying to acquire Watson in a trade.

Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson in December 2020
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson throws a pass during an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Dec. 27, 2020, in Houston.

"I think he's had a good training camp," Flores said of Tagovailoa. "I think he's made a lot of progress. I think he's made a lot of improvement and we're pleased with where he is. He's going through his preparations for New England the way he should be, and that's where we are as a team."

Tagovailoa told reporters he's appreciative of the support.

"I think it means a lot with it coming from the head coach," he said. "The support that I have from him and from the team, it means a lot. But for me, I'm just focused literally on trying to get our guys ready for next week."

Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores speaks to QB Tua Tagovailoa in 2021 preseason game vs. Atlanta Falcons
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa talks to head coach Brian Flores during the first half of a preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons, Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Tagovailoa said he doesn't have cable, so he doesn't watch the news, but he has heard the rumors about the Dolphins and Watson.

"I only hear about those things either from my agents or if it comes from (someone in the building) or if coach (Flores) wants to sit down and talk to me about things like that," Tagovailoa said. "That's kind of how I find out a lot of the talk that's going on."

Flores wouldn't reveal what he told Tagovailoa or the rest of the team, but he agreed that it's important for players to feel as though they have the support of everyone in the organization.

"I think we've got a team full of guys who work hard, who will support one another, who are tough, who are smart, who love to play and are team-first," Flores said. "We'll go out to practice today and try to improve and get better and prepare for an upcoming game."