With relentless rumors and reports regarding Miami’s interest in Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, and with the Dolphins still not publicly slamming the door shut on a potential trade, coach Brian Flores provided some present-tense support for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Despite the obvious loopholes and limitations of the phrase “is our quarterback,” the message seemed to do the trick. At least for now.
It seemed to help Tua move past the uncertainty that comes from knowing that, at any given moment, the team could trade for Watson and make him “our quarterback.”
Meeting with reporters on Wednesday, Tagovailoa was asked what the remarks from Flores mean to the second-year signal-caller.
“I think it means a lot with it coming from the head coach,” Tagovailoa 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.”
He also was asked how he “compartmentalizes” the Watson chatter.
“What’s funny is I heard [John Jenkins] just say he doesn’t have cable,” Tua said. “I’m one of those guys that doesn’t have cable too. I’m not able to turn on my TV and watch what’s going on to see the news and whatnot. Now obviously I know social media is a big deal but really, 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. That’s kind of how I find out a lot of the talk that’s going on.”
It was a lighthearted answer (Tua laughed when saying he doesn’t have cable) but it didn’t really answer the question as to how he sets aside the Watson talk. It’s there. It’s arguably subsiding, but it’s there.
And it’s not going to go away, unless Tua takes his game to the next level. Ultimately, that’s what needs to happen. The better he plays, the tighter his grip on the job will become. If he struggles, the Watson talk will return.
For 2021, it will culminate in a deal being done — or not being done — by the Tuesday after Week Eight. And if the Dolphins indeed do a deadline deal for Deshaun, the next game for the Dolphins will be a visit from (you guessed it) the Texans.