Brian Flores refutes notion Miami Dolphins are auditioning Tua Tagovailoa

Brian Flores went out of his way to rebut the notion that the Miami Dolphins handed the starting reins to Tua Tagovailoa in order to get a sense of whether he's the quarterback of the future or not.

On Thursday, the Dolphins coach strenuously repudiated a report that suggested Miami wanted to use the final 10 games of the season to evaluate whether Tua could be the long-term solution or whether the club might consider another QB in the 2021 draft.

"There's a couple things out there, let's call it a source close to Dolphins' thinking saying that we are auditioning Tua. I'm just going to tell you about my thinking. We brought Tua here because we believe in him, same as all the other draft picks. We believe in developing players and improving players on a daily basis," Flores said, via ESPN's Cameron Wolfe. "That would be the opposite of giving someone a 10-game audition. That's just my thinking on that, just so everybody's clear."

Flores' comment came unprovoked, per reporters on the call, underscoring the coach's desire to get in front of any narrative that could hinder his young QB's confidence.

The report suggested that with Miami owning the Houston Texans' first-round pick, which currently sits at No. 6 overall, the Dolphins could be in a position to draft another signal-caller. Like the Arizona Cardinals did in immediately moving on from Josh Rosen in favor of Kyler Murray, it's possible Miami could view a 2021 prospect to be a significant upgrade on Tua.

First, the Dolphins would need to see how the rookie looks against NFL defenses for a significant stretch.

Flores underscored his belief that Tagovailoa is the Dolphins' QB of the future, and his insertion into the lineup had nothing to do with any 10-game beta test.

"I'm comfortable with what comes out of these 10 games," Flores said. "Since I've been here, I think everybody has heard me talk about the development of players, improvement on a daily basis. I just don't see how somebody close to Dolphins thinking can say that this would be a 10-game audition. Not sure where or who that came from."

Tua completed 12 of 22 passes for 93 yards and a touchdown in his first career start. The QB wasn't asked to do much as the Dolphins blitzed their way to a 28-17 win over the Los Angeles Rams. Starting with Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals, expect Tua to have more on his plate.

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