The Facts: Brian Flores' Miami Dolphins won 10 games in 2020, just the second time the club has hit double-digit victories in 12 seasons. Even that accomplishment, however, left the Dolphins out of the playoffs. Flores doesn't want to fall short once again, but there is one big "if" hovering over Miami: Tagovailoa. After an up-and-down 2020, the expectations are building for the young signal-caller. If he doesn't play well, the entire operation could implode. That's not the thinking within the building, however. Flores told Peter King for his Football Morning In America column that he doesn't put all the weight on Tua's shoulders.
Diehards Line:"I never like to put it on one player," Flores said. "I think we've got a lot of young players, and we're looking for all of those players as well as really everyone on our team to improve in a variety of ways. If they're putting all the work in, I expect them to improve, get better, and perform better. Tua is obviously at the top of that list. ..." Thanks in part to wheeling and dealing GM Chris Grier, the Dolphins added talent to a rising roster, selecting four potential impact players within the first 42 selections during the 2021 NFL Draft -- receiver Jaylen Waddle, pass rusher Jaelan Phillips, defensive back Jevon Holland and offensive lineman Liam Eichenberg. The upgrades at receiver and on defense will raise expectations in Miami. After years of rebuilding -- and without the Ryan Fitzpatrick backstop this season, a promising roster is in Tua's hands. The Dolphins are betting big that the QB will smooth out the valleys that epitomized his rookie season and make a big leap in Year 2.