Ex-Dolphins Coach Told Tua Team Should Have Drafted Mac Jones: Report
By Jason Hall
January 13, 2022
Recently fired Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores reportedly favored another former University of Alabama quarterback over Tua Tagovailoa and told the Dolphins starter to his face.
During the latest episode of The GM Shuffle, host Michael Lombardi said Flores wanted to draft Mac Jones -- Tagovailoa's successor at Alabama -- and personally let his quarterback know it amid struggles during the 2021 season.
"I don't think Flores was shy about telling him, 'hey, I should've picked Mac Jones.' I mean, I don't think he was shy about telling him that, in fact, I know that he wasn't," Lombardi said as shared in a tweet by NFL reporter Dov Kleiman. "I remember, I said there was commentary between a head coach and Tua during the season and I wouldn't reveal what the conversation was, well, the conversation was, 'hey, if I'da knew you were going to be this bad I would've picked..Mac Jones.'"
Audio from the @GMShuffle from @mlombardiNFL— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 13, 2022
"Flores told Tua I should've picked Mac Jones."
"The conversation was, if I knew you were going to be this bad, I would've taken Mac Jones [in the 2021 Draft." pic.twitter.com/k85OJ87I8O
The Dolphins announced their decision to part ways with Flores after three seasons on Monday (January 13).
Hours later, the Sun-Sentinel reported Flores had a "meltdown" at halftime during Miami's 34-3 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Nashville on January 2, which included hurling F-bombs at his franchise quarterback.
Flores took over as Miami's head coach in 2019 after spending 11 seasons as an assistant under Bill Belichick with the New England Patriots, which included winning four Super Bowl championships (XXXIX, XLIX, LI and LIII).
The 40-year-old went 24-25 during three seasons with the Dolphins, but appeared to be gaining momentum.
Miami finished the 2021 season with a 9-8 record having won eight of his last nine games following a disappointing 1-7 start.
Tagovailoa was selected at No. 5 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft after a decorated career at Alabama, having won the College Football National Championship and CFP National Championship Offensive MVP as a true freshman, as well as the Maxwell, Walter Camp and SEC Offensive Player of the Year awards, while also being named a Consensus All-American, as a sophomore.
Jones also made four starts in the absence of Tagovailoa following a season-ending injury in 2019 and took over full-time the following season, leading Alabama to a College Football National Championship and was third in the Heisman voting behind teammate DeVonta Smith and Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence in 2020.
Jones threw for 4,500 yards, 41 touchdowns and four interceptions on 311 of 402 passing -- while also recording one rushing touchdown -- while leading the Crimson Tide to a 13-0 record in 2020.
The Jacksonville native was selected by the New England Patriots at No. 15 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft last April and is a favorite to win the 2021 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award after leading the Patriots to a 10-7 record and playoff berth -- edging out the Dolphins -- during his first season.