Tua Tagovailoa sneak disses Brian Flores while praising Mike McDaniel after Miami Dolphins beat Houston Texans

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Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa detailed his relationship with head coach Mike McDaniel following the team’s win over the Houston Texans in Week 12 of the NFL season.

The Dolphins quarterback talked about McDaniel’s belief in him, something he apparently didn’t feel when Brian Flores was the Dolphins head coach during Tagovailoa’s first two seasons in the NFL.

“Having someone that first off believes in you makes all the difference. Having someone that calls me randomly just telling me how much I mean to him and the things that he’s trying to accomplish and we are trying to accomplish as a team,” Tagovailoa said of McDaniel. “It’s cool. I’ve never had that. I’ve never experienced that. This is my first time experience – having that kind of relationship with someone of that authority, being the head coach of an organization. Love that guy.”

McDaniel has put Tagovailoa in a great position to succeed in his third season in the NFL, and the University of Alabama product has delivered, leading the Dolphins to an 8-3 start so far this season.

With the win over the Texans in Week 12, the Dolphins have now won five straight games and are atop the AFC East with an 8-3 record. The Buffalo Bills have the same record, but Miami won their first head-to-head matchup this season.

Tagovailoa was terrific on Sunday against the Texans, completing 22 of his 36 pass attempts for 299 yards and one touchdown pass. Miami ended up giving him a rest late in the game with a huge lead, bringing in rookie Skylar Thompson to finish things out.

McDaniel’s offense has allowed Tagovailoa to use his elite accuracy to get the ball into the hands of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, two of the NFL’s best playmakers at the wide receiver position.

Tagovailoa’s first two NFL seasons were filled with ups and downs, and he never seemed to get his footing with Flores leading the team.

Even after taking over as the starter for Ryan Fitzpatrick in his rookie season, Tagovailoa was pulled in games against the Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders in favor of Fitzpatrick. Those decisions showed that Flores wasn’t completely sold on Tagovailoa leading the team.

It appears that the Dolphins have unlocked Tagovailoa’s elite talent by handing the reins over to McDaniel this season.

There’s a reason why Tagovailoa was a top draft pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and he’s shown that he can be one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL this season.

The Dolphins narrowly missed the playoffs in each of the last two seasons, but they look well on their way to a playoff spot this season. Tagovailoa and the Dolphins will look to extend their winning streak to six games in Week 13 against the San Francisco 49ers.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.