MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores addressed the rumors and speculation swirling around the Dolphins' interest in embattled quarterback Deshaun Watson on Monday morning.
"I think there's always rumors. There's always speculation. There's always some form of distractions and I think as a team we've got to block that stuff out and play. I thought they did that yesterday and I think that's something that all players deal with in the National Football League. There's always something going on. There's always something that – some form of speculation or controversy and we just block it out, ignore it and move on."
He added, "We have a high standard for the people we have in the organization. We want people with high character throughout the building."
The Miami Dolphins have declined to confirm or deny reports they have engaged in trade talks to acquire Watson. The Houston Texans' star has been accused of sexual assault and harassment in lawsuits filed by 22 women. Watson and his lawyers have denied the accusations against him. No charges have been filed, but his availability this season is unclear, and Houston police are investigating.
In the meantime, Flores and GM Chris Grier are busy making cuts Monday and Tuesday. They must shrink the roster from 80 to 53.
"It's always a tough day. There are always tough decisions to make. You start thinking about what you're going to say to the player; but yeah, probably some today and some tomorrow," said Flores on Monday morning.
Flores said even though promising players are cut, he doesn't get ahead of himself.
"I think we feel good about some positions. I think it's – yeah, I understand the question. I think I never want to get too far ahead or say, 'hey, we've got this super situation.' Yeah, at some positions, we're going to have to make some tough cuts and with guys who we feel like are roster players in the National Football League. When you have to make those decisions, they're tough. It makes you feel good about the other players at that position, but at the same time it's hard to let good players go. We feel okay with where we're at. We know we're going to have to make some tough cuts. We'll always try to do what's best for the team."
Coach Flores also described the team during the preseason as "tough."
"I think it's a group that's tough. I think they try to play with some discipline. I think it's a team with versatility offensively, defensively and in the kicking game or potential to have versatility, I should say. I won't say we're versatile just yet, but tough and smart and they compete. I think you saw that last night, yesterday, and we've just got to continue to improve. I think they work hard. They work hard to improve and hopefully we just continue with that and make improvements throughout the year and take it one day at a time."
In the heels of his second training camp, and first preseason, how does Flores feel about quarterback Tua Tagovailoa?
"I think he's much more comfortable with his surroundings here in this area. I think he's taken a step as far as leadership and working with his teammates to get things right, whether it's the center and his cadence, receivers and routes, ball handling with the backs, I think he's asking more questions to us as a coaching staff situationally. 'Hey, would you take a time out here? Should we get it out of bounds here? How much yardage do we need on a two-minute (drill) to get a field goal?' I think he has made some very good strides. There is still a lot of room for improvement and hopefully we continue to make improvements."
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