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Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa: Brian Flores' support 'means a lot'

Brian Flores continues to back Tua Tagovailoa despite persistent Deshaun Watson rumors. The second-year quarterback appreciates the vocal assurances.

Tagovailoa said Wednesday that he speaks with Flores every day, and while the private talks are helpful, the public support from his coach this week, both to the media and at a team meeting, was meaningful.

"I think it means a lot with it coming from the head coach," Tagovailoa said, via Marcel Louis-Jacques of ESPN. "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."

Flores reiterated Wednesday, "I don't know how much clearer I can be. Tua is our quarterback" when asked again about the Watson trade rumors that won't die in Miami.

Until Tagovailoa shines on the field, the Watson rumors will continue to swirl -- it's simply part of the game. If the 2020 No. 5 overall pick comes out in Week 1 in New England and lights up the scoreboard with precision passing, picking on a Stephon Gilmore-less Patriots cornerback crew, the Watson talk will subside. Then, Tua will need to do it again and again and again.

It's a pivotal season for the second-year signal-caller. Fair or unfair, high draft status puts pressure on Tagovailoa to perform soon and perform well. It's easy to like what we've seen from the accurate passer in the preseason. He looks much calmer and in command than last year. But can he continue that when the games count?

Offseason rumors surrounding players coming off rocky seasons -- as Tua's admittedly was -- either wash away once the regular season begins or are reaffirmed by struggles. It all depends on how Tua performs when the bright lights turn back on.

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