Brian Flores speaks on Tua Tagovailoa’s confidence entering Year 2

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If you ask any one of the Miami Dolphins players who have spent time around second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa over the past few months what is different about the Dolphins’ hopeful franchise quarterback, you’ll get different variations of the same observations. Some will, jokingly, acknowledge his beard. Others will mention the dividends of his time training on his body.

But most, if not all, have observed that Tagovailoa is a more confident individual entering into the summer of his second year as the Miami Dolphins’ quarterback of the future.

And now, you can include head coach Brian Flores among those who has made such an observation. Flores met with the South Florida media on Wednesday morning and was asked directly about Tagovailoa’s confidence level at this time versus last year.

“I think he’s definitely more comfortable, but I think that’s normal for anyone in the second year doing anything that you’re doing. I’m sure the same thing is for you as a journalist. Year 1 is Year 1 and you learn a lot and then you get a little bit better in Year 2. You’re more comfortable. I think that’s the case if you’re a football coach, football player, journalist, plumber, firefighter. I think you’re just a little bit more comfortable. You know your surroundings. You know what’s expected of you. You’ve got a better rapport with your teammates, with the people you work with,” said Flores.

“So yeah, I would say I’ve seen him, as well as a lot of the second-year players, I think over the years this is kind of what you see. They have a better understanding of how we practice, the things that we expect from them as – the things that coaches expect from them; and then what they expect from themselves. ‘These are some things I need to be better at,’ whether it’s cadence, whether it’s communication, whether it’s getting aligned, whether it’s a certain specific fundamental, whether it’s double teams or pulling or defeating a crack block or your footwork on punt protection…I’ve seen him being a little bit more comfortable, yes.”

How that translates to the field? That’s the big mystery. But the Dolphins deserve credit for trying to stack the skill positions and the offensive line to the best of their ability with the kind of players who can allow Tagovailoa to become the same kind of passer he was at Alabama. With the rest of the roster looking rather impressive relative to just two years ago, a confident and effective Tagovailoa could push the Dolphins to heights unseen around this organization for quite some time.

So it’s a good thing Tagovailoa is confident — he’ll need it to work through the swelling expectations ahead.