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Mike McDaniel on if Dolphins are out of Lamar Jackson sweepstakes and starting Tua: ‘Absolutely.’

SportsMike McDaniel on if Dolphins are out of Lamar Jackson sweepstakes and starting Tua: 'Absolutely.'

PHOENIX — Dolphins coach Mike McDspanniel said the organization is not pursuing any other quarterback, including Lspanmspanr Jspanckson, and wants Tuspan Tspangovspanilospan as the starter in 2023.

“Absolutely,” McDaniel said in a conversation with The Palm Beach Post and Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel at the NFL owners meetings on Monday. “That’s why you pick up a fifth-year option. That’s why you, that’s how you do it. That’s why you pick the option up as soon as you know you’re going to. So as opposed to speaking, having an action speak, to really squash any of that unnecessary direction or chatter.”

On Monday, Jackson revealed that he requested a trade from Baltimore on March 2, as he and the organization have been unable to reach an agreement on a long-term contract.

“That’s a very good player,” McDaniel said. “That’s all I know about him.”

Jackson, 26, is a two-time Pro Bowler and was first-team All-Pro in 2019. He is a native of Pompano Beach and played at Boynton Beach High School.

Tagovailoa, 25, led the NFL in passer rating last season, his first with McDaniel.

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Recently, the Dolphins moved well ahead of a deadline to pick up Tua’s $23.1 million option for 2024.

Jackson is an electric player. But he has had injuries in recent seasons, like Tua. In fact, Jackson missed 10 of 34 possible starts in each of the last two regular seasons.

Tua has missed nine of 34 possible starts in those same two seasons.

With Tua, the biggest concern is obviously that he had at least two concussions last season.

Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens reacts after the game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on September 25, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

To combat that, Tua has been working to strengthen his neck and also learning how to fall correctly through jiujitsu training. Tagovailoa does have some mobility.

So the question becomes: how much does McDaniel want Tua to run or not run?

“Oh, it’s always imperfect,” McDaniel said. “I think it has to be something that has to be spoken. It has to be viewed continually coached through the risk and reward avenue. There’s certain times where it’s, ‘Why are we risking this?’

“Now for me to take a competitor like Tua and derive parameters on a got to have it? Fourth down, fourth quarter, game-winner stuff? That’s going to be hard.

“I’ll still coach it, but the bottom line is you have to be aware of what you’re not able to do, which Tua learned first-hand, you’re not able to do anything routine if you’re not available. So being able to continue to learn from that and talk through it. And utilizing things from around the league as well to, to, you know, just get him as many reps that at speaking through, ‘Okay what’s the competitive timeline of a play, and when is the best time to submit.’

“Tua is one of the fastest learners I’ve ever been around in life. So I’m excited to see what that produces and where we’re able to help him help himself.”

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