Tagged in: Miami Dolphins

Tua Tagovailoa believes he’s Miami Dolphins’ franchise QB, but says he must ‘prove’ it

Tua Tagovailoa considers he can be the Miami Dolphins’ franchise quarterback but knows he has to prove it with better play in Year 2.

Tagovailoa is coming off a rookie season where he went 6-3 with a 64.1% completion rate, 14 total touchdowns and five interceptions. But the former Alabama star was substituted twice in the fourth quarter by veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick and struggled at times to throw the ball effectively downfield.

With the Dolphins in the thick of offseason quarterback speculation for the second straight year, Tagovailoa was asked whether he is convinced that Miami is all-in on him as the franchise quarterback.

“In my mind and in my heart, I would hope so,” Tagovailoa said Monday during an interview with Sirius Mad Dog Radio. “With the way things went last year, you always have to prove yourself to do better, and I want to do better.”

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Dolphins coach Brian Flores told ESPN last month that he’s “excited about the future with Tagovailoa,” and the Dolphins believe in him. Dolphins general manager Chris Grier also said last month that Tagovailoa is their starting quarterback and they are happy with his development.

This offseason will prove if the Dolphins’ strong public commitment to Tagovailoa matches their actions, with multiple options potentially available, including unhappy Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter recently reported that Watson has requested a trade, while ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that Watson has Miami high on his preferred trade destination list.

The Dolphins are one of the few teams with the draft capital to potentially entice a Watson trade.

Tagovailoa told Sirius Mad Dog Radio that he hadn’t heard the Watson trade rumors until his agent told him about them, but “that’s something that would be out of my control regardless.”

“That would be a decision of the Dolphins organization,” he said. “I have to control what I can control — work hard and do well next season.”

Tagovailoa was also honest in his evaluation of his 2020 season, saying he “would describe my rookie season as below average. This past season wasn’t up to the expectation that I have for myself.”

If the Dolphins do move forward with Tagovailoa, as is their existing plan, the focus would be on his Year 2 improvement. He told the Dan Patrick Show that there’s a “big difference” in his health this offseason compared to last year, when he was coming off serious hip surgery, and he can focus this year on improving mental elements of his game.

The Dolphins already have made it a focus to build around Tagovailoa early in the 2021 offseason, including hiring his former Elite 11 high school camp coach Charlie Frye as the their quarterbacks coach.

They also spent significant time at the Senior Bowl getting to know Alabama star receiver DeVonta Smith and running back Najee Harris; both are fits for the Dolphins’ offensive needs, have a great relationship with Tagovailoa and could be options for Miami to select with each of their first-round draft picks (Nos. 3 and 18).

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New Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell agrees to six-year contract

New Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell received a six-year contract from the team, a source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

The Lions informed Campbell’s hiring on Wednesday but did not disclose terms. The team will introduce him with a news conference on Thursday.

“With more than 20 years of experience as both a coach and player in the National Football League, Dan knows the rigors of professional football and what it takes to be successful. He will help promote the culture we want to establish across our organization, while also bringing with him high energy, a respect for the game and an identity with which everyone can align themselves,” Lions principal owner Sheila Ford Hamp said in a statement.

Campbell, the New Orleans Saints’ assistant head coach/tight ends coach, replaces Matt Patricia, who was released in November after less than three seasons with the Lions and a 13-29-1 record.

The Lions will now try to reset after concluding last in the NFC North the past three seasons. Campbell is expected to bring fellow Saints assistant coach Aaron Glenn with him as defensive coordinator. Glenn has a few other suitors, but Detroit is the favorite, the source told Fowler.

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The 44-year-old Campbell, who has never been a coordinator in the NFL, is viewed as a motivator and someone who can bring a team together, rather than an X’s-and-O’s guru. The Lions had been searching for people they considered unifiers as they identified qualities they deemed important to building a winner out of a franchise that has one playoff victory in the Super Bowl era and claimed its last division title in 1993.

Campbell doesn’t have much experience as a head coach — just 12 games as an interim head coach for the Miami Dolphins — but the Lions clearly saw enough to pair him with recently hired general manager Brad Holmes. Without experience calling plays on either side of the ball, whom Campbell brings in as coordinators will be paramount to his success.

During Holmes’ introductory news conference on Tuesday, the Lions stated all three of Holmes, Campbell and vice president of football administration Mike Disner will report to team president Rod Wood, creating a balanced structure. When asked whether Holmes or Campbell would have final say over the 53-man roster, Wood said it would be a collaborative process.

“Dan’s passion for this opportunity was evident throughout our interview process,” Wood said in a statement.

“When we began the search for a head coach, it was imperative that we find the right leader who values our commitment to building a winning culture based on organizational alignment and collaboration. The leadership Dan has exemplified throughout his football career has prepared him for this next step, and we are excited to support him as our new head coach.”

The Lions had conducted their searches for Holmes and Campbell simultaneously, often asking candidates whether they had people in mind for the other position they would want to work with. After Holmes was hired last week, Ford Hamp said Holmes spoke with some of their remaining candidates.

Campbell played 10 seasons in the NFL, including the final three years of his career for the Lions.

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Dolphins sign former Colts WR Chester Rogers to one year deal

Over the last several days, many NFL players have decided to opt-out of the 2020 campaign. And through this process, the Dolphins have lost veteran wide receivers Allen Hurns and Albert Wilson.

Sure, many consider Miami’s WR room is littered with young, talented players. However, it was only a matter of time before Chris Grier and Brian Flores started scouring the list of NFL free agents for a veteran presence.

Saturday, the Dolphins re-signed veteran WR Ricardo Louis, the former 2016 fourth-round draft pick.

However, that wasn’t the only veteran WR that recently earned a new contract with the team.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Miami Dolphins have agreed to a one-year deal with former Indianapolis Colts WR Chester Rogers. Rogers, 26, appeared in 53 matches with the Colts combining for 111 receptions, 1,221 yards, and five touchdowns. The UDFA from Grambling State had his best season in 2017 catching 53 passes for 485 yards and three touchdowns.

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He suffered a season-ending knee injury versus the Tennessee Titans in Week 13 of the 2019 season, finishing with 16 catches for 179 yards and two touchdowns.

It seems extremely unlikely that both Louis and Rogers make the Dolphins’ final roster. But as we quickly learned with Coach Flores and his staff, the best players will play.

It’s now up to Chester Rogers to prove he belongs.

He will be entering a young wideout group in Miami, which includes WR1 DeVante Parker, veteran Jakeem Grant, fourth-year player Isaiah Ford, and sophomores Preston Williams and Gary Jennings, among others. He hopes to take advantage of the undermanned offense in order to have a greater role produce better numbers for the team.

The Fins will open their 2020 campaign as they visit their division rival New England Patriots on September 13 at Foxborough.

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Dolphins lose WR Preston Williams for rest of the season

Preston Williams was one of the brightest gems the Miami Dolphins revealed during the first year of their rebuild. Now, his first NFL season has come to an end.

Williams — who emerged as an undrafted rookie free agent to lead the Dolphins in receiving this season — suffered a left knee injury Sunday that ended his season, coach Brian Flores said on Monday.

“It’s a big loss for us,” Flores said. “I talked to him [Monday] morning. He’s done an incredible job. He came to us as a free agent and has really grown over the last six, seven months.

“I was devastated for the kid, and he was as well,” Flores added. “But I told him this is just a bump in the road. He’ll be back.” Williams suffered the injury, which is reportedly an anterior cruciate ligament tear, while returning a punt during the fourth quarter of Miami’s 28-16 win over the New York Jets on Sunday. He planted his left leg into the field to make a move before being taken down by a Jets player near the opposing sideline.

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He ended the game with five catches for 72 yards and two touchdowns before limping over to the Dolphins sideline and being carted off the field with a towel draped over his head — in what may have been the most disappointing note in Miami’s first win of the season.

The Dolphins identified Williams as a player that could stretch the field and emerge as a No. 1 receiver in the midst of their rebuild.

His role expanded to handling punt return duties from Dolphins receiver and speedy return specialist Jakeem Grant.

Now, his rookie season will end with a lengthy rehabilitation process likely ahead of him.

Flores did not have a timetable for Williams’ potential return. “If he attacks his rehab and training like he did from the time he got here, he’ll be just fine,” Flores said.

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Rams trade C Aqib Talib to Miami Dolphins

The Los Angeles Rams have traded injured cornerback Aqib Talib and a fifth-round pick to the Miami Dolphins for an undisclosed future draft choice.

The 33-year-old Talib is on injured reserve with a rib injury.

The 12-year veteran defensive back played in eight regular-season games last year and five more this year, making just one interception and struggling with injuries in both of his seasons with the Rams. But he came back last year to start all three playoff games for Los Angeles, including the Super Bowl.

Talib will be an unrestricted free agent this winter after playing out the six-year, $57m deal he signed with the Denver Broncos, with whom he acquired the Super Bowl four seasons ago.

The Rams (5-3) have traded both of their starting cornerbacks this month, and they have already parted ways with three of their four secondary starters in last season’s Super Bowl. The fourth, safety John Johnson, is on injured reserve.

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Los Angeles shipped cornerback Marcus Peters to the Baltimore Ravens two weeks ago to clear room to acquire Jalen Ramsey from Jacksonville. This trade of Talib might have been made to free up salary cap room for another deal or to sign Ramsey to a contract extension.

The Rams are in their bye week after back-to-back victories. They play at Pittsburgh next weekend.

The winless Dolphins (0-7) could use secondary help, but Talib isn’t eligible to return until Week 15 and might not be healthy then.

Miami’s 2018 Pro Bowl cornerback, Xavien Howard, was placed on injured reserve Tuesday with a knee injury that bothered him in recent weeks.

Talib has played for Tampa Bay (2008-12), New England (2012-13), Denver (2014-17) and the Rams (2018-19) in his 12-year career. He originally entered the NFL as a first-round pick (20th overall) by Tampa Bay in the 2008 NFL draft.

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Miami Dolphins at Chicago Bears

Miami Dolphins at Chicago BearsCheck WagerWeb and find the best online betting site!!!!

Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET, the Chicago Bears will be back at Soldier Field to take on the Miami Dolphins in their first preseason game of the year. The Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins have struggled in recent years, both failing to make the playoffs in each of the last four years.

The Bears, of course, are coming off a disastrous 5-11 campaign in 2014, a season where they had playoff expectations behind what was supposed to be a top-notch offense and a rebuilt defense. Instead, they tanked amid poor play and internal friction.

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The Dolphins, meanwhile, are coming off an 8-8 season in which they finished third in the AFC East, 11th in points scored and 20th in points allowed. That campaign includes an easy 27-13 victory over the Bears in Chicago, a game where the Bears gave up 24 first downs, almost 400 yards of total offense and failed to force a turnover, while the offense was shutout in the first half and netted just 224 yards and three turnovers during the game.

The established starters on both sides will see limited playing time on the field, and quarterbacks Jay Cutler and Ryan Tannehill shouldn’t play for more than a series or two. Chicago and Miami used their first-round selections on wide receivers, but neither will make their NFL debuts on Thursday.

Playing a solid team like Miami should be a good way for the Bears to test the new schemes and evaluate backups and the starting competitions on defense without the squad getting embarrassed.

 

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