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Sunday, July 5, 2020

Ex-Patriot thinks Brian Flores will not play Tua Tagovailoa as rookie

Tua Tagovailoa

Many are interested in whether Tua Tagovailoa will get the chance to play as a rookie. One former New England Patriot familiar with coach Brian Flores’ methods doesn’t think you should get your hopes up.

Rob Ninkovich, now an ESPN analyst, said on Monday’s edition of “Get Up!” that he does not foresee Flores risking Tagovailoa’s confidence by playing him in 2020.

“I was with Brian Flores for eight years,” Ninkovich said, via Nick Kosko of 247 Sports. “I would not start him right now, immediately. I was with B-Flo for eight years. He’s a very smart coach, a very smart man. He’s not going to try and push him into a position too quickly. If you are forced into a spot where potentially his hip isn’t 100 percent, you want him to be 100 percent healthy. The game of football is very mental. Confidence goes a long way. If you’re pushed out there too soon and you lose a little bit of that vital confidence, it can affect you. I would think Brian Flores has a great plan in place. He’s going to use a veteran quarterback, and hopefully Tua can learn from the veteran quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick.”

Indications are that Fitzpatrick will open the season as Miami’s starting quarterback. We’ve heard that the Dolphins might be open to going to Tagovailoa sooner rather than later. Ninkovich seems to think this would be out of character for Flores, but circumstances change.

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