I'm not going to hire Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh

Ross on Monday also expressed support for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

Although the Dolphins engaged in midseason trade discussions with the Houston Texans about acquiring Deshaun Watson, Ross said Tagovailoa's performance did not factor into the decision to dismiss Flores.

"It played no role at all. I have a lot of confidence in Tua, and I think the next head coach will work with him. ... I have a lot of confidence in him," Ross said. "I've watched him grow. He's a fine young man. He is right now the quarterback and will be depended upon by the new head coach, but I have a lot of confidence in Tua."

Ross added that he has no plans to acquire Watson, who currently faces 22 allegations of sexual misconduct and did not play a snap during the 2021 season.

Tagovailoa, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, is 13-8 as a starter over two seasons in Miami, but has often struggled to make explosive plays downfield in the passing game. He's averaged 6.6 yards per attempt for his career, but poor pass protection and a lackluster rushing attack have made the left-hander's development problematic.

Whomever Ross selects to replace Flores, Tagovailoa's improvement will be a critical task for the new coach.

A coach who it appears most certainly won't be Harbaugh.

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