Dolphins' Mike McDaniel on Tua Tagovailoa, Teddy Bridgewater: Both QBs have been 'explicitly explained their roles and expectations'

New Miami Dolphins quarterback Teddy Bridgewater raised some eyebrows after signing in South Beach when he declined to discuss whether the coaching staff defined his role.

The implication from the veteran's non-response was that perhaps Miami viewed Bridgewater as someone who could usurp Tua Tagovailoa's starting job.

At the NFL's Annual League Meeting on Monday, coach Mike McDaniel made it clear that Bridgewater was signed as the backup, not to compete with Tua for the starting gig.

"Around the Combine, I was describing specifically what I thought Tua really needed in support with a backup quarterback," McDaniel said. "Unbeknownst to you guys, I was quite literally describing Teddy Bridgewater at the time, just not using his name. So, both players have (been) explicitly explained their roles and expectations. For that room to be their best, they need to know that."

From McDaniel's perspective, clearly defining the roles allows the team to support Tagovailoa as the starter and team leader without the specter of speculation hanging overhead.

At the NFL Scouting Combine, McDaniel's exact quote on what the team was looking for to support Tua was: "When you're looking for a No. 2 quarterback, there's two things: You want him to benefit the starting quarterback while the starting quarterback is the starting quarterback and empower him with how they approach their daily game plan responsibilities, how they develop when they're training in the offseason. But you also want a guy that can win games should the starter go down. So, a veteran backup is definitely in our discussions, but it's the best player that we can find in whatever avenue and move forward from there."

That pretty well defines Bridgewater, who is 33-30 in his career as a starter and has shown the ability to run a functional offense. The upside with Teddy isn't there, but he's a solid distributor who can get the ball to the playmakers' hands, even if he doesn't operate an explosive show.

McDaniel has been clear from the start that he views Tua as his starter and believes the QB has the talent to improve in Year 3. The Dolphins spent the offseason doing all they could to buffer the young quarterback, including signing left tackle Terron Armstead to a big contract and trading for Tyreek Hill.

The messaging from Miami has been clear: It's Tua's job.

If he loses it due to injury or ineffectivness, then Bridgewater will be there to pick up the pieces.

As for the unceasing rumors that the Dolphins are attempting to make a trade for Tom Brady this season, McDaniel called the gossip "fake news."

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