Miami Dolphin in Chief

Coach Flores

Black Monday started off with a bang as the Miami Dolphins shocked the football world by releasing Brian Flores from his head coaching position after he had just completed the first back-to-back winning seasons for the Dolphins since 2003. There were a lot of rumblings as to whether or not Flores, the former Belichick protégé, was on the hot seat when the team got off to a 1-7 start to the season but was generally thought to be safe after a dramatic turnaround culminated in a 7-game winning streak.

Winning 8 out of 9 is no easy objective to pull off in the NFL, but unfortunately for B Flo, his team got off to such a bad start that he needed to go 9 for 9 to make the playoffs. He needed to go undefeated and had no margin for error. Even with him going 19-14 over the past two seasons, the lack of a playoff berth that Adam Gase was able to achieve in his 3-season tenure as the Miami head coach turned out to be part of the young up and coming Coach Flores’s undoing. The other part of his undoing turned out to be his lack of effective communication and poor relationships with his staff, players, and colleagues. If you’re going to try to be bossy like Belichick, you better have the wins to back it up or else you will have a workforce that dislikes you and also don’t believe in your vision because it’s not getting the results on the field.

As a leader it is your responsibility to cultivate a healthy and productive working environment. You don’t always have to love the players on your team, but you should always treat people with respect. Treat them the way that you would want yourself or your mother to be treated. Before these leaks started coming out about Flores, Tua, and Grier not getting along I had always wondered about how B Flo was with players. Something did not sit right with me about how the Dolphins parted ways with Minkah Fitzpatrick and Kenny Stills. Both players had falling outs with Coach Flores.


Tua is generally considered as a very mild mannered, soft spoken, choir boy that is hard not to get along with. He knows what it feels like to get coached hard by everyone’s not-so-favorite mean coach Nick Saban. There was a press conference that Tua did after a tough loss to the Atlanta Falcons where he admitted that he and Brian Flores would have meetings where he would honestly tell talk to Tua about the trade rumors. In other words, Flores would actively tell Tua that they were going after Watson to replace him. That is some unbelievably unfair pressure to put on the kid and you could see it manifest in Tua playing with reckless abandon in trying to get first downs and taking big shots to his already cracked ribs. Those conversations could not have been pleasant, and the results of those conversations were not pleasant either.

Flores gets a lot of credit for not allowing this team to quit when they hit rock bottom at 1-7 after falling victim to another double-digit loss to Buffalo. However, it also needs to be said that many decisions made by Flores caused the Dolphins to be in such a record deficit to begin with. Flores advocated for the jettisoning of Ereck Flowers in order to get Austin Jackson more playing time and that ended in tragedy. At the end of the 2021 regular season the Dolphins had a defensive identity of getting after the quarterback with complex amoeba blitz schemes. For some reason we did not see that same aggressive attacking defense to begin the season. The Dolphins got rid of Kyle Van Noy and Charles Harris resulting in no pressure in the front four because they were dropping back and playing a ton of zone rather than coming after the quarterback. Their complex coverages were fooling no one but themselves as they lost game after game and allowed 100-yard rusher after 100-yard rusher.

If the Dolphins would have won at Las Vegas in overtime, in London against Jacksonville, or at home against Atlanta: they would have been in the playoffs, and we would not be having this conversation right now. Not to mention that Flores had four offensive coordinators and three offensive line coaches in three years. There was constant turnover in his coaching staffing, and he is solely to blame for either not hiring good people or not having enough patience to stick with their adjustments. The worst thing that a young triggerman like Tua Tagaovailoa could have early in their NFL career besides an abysmal offensive line is not having the continuity of a consistent offensive system to run. It felt like a revolving door. Flores has to wear the black eye for those decisions, and it cost him dearly. Let’s not forget about that time he tried to lowkey bench Tua for the Thursday Night Ravens game by claiming that he was still battling a thumb injury and that plan ended up backfiring because he ended up having to go to Tua when Jacoby Brissett got hurt. It made Tua look like the savior coming in to save the day at the last minute like the most dramatic heroes do.

Brian Flores was a rookie head coach and when he was hired, I thought that he was just being hired as a scapegoat for a teardown and tanking period. He quickly changed that narrative when his team, who was heavily criticized for putting player health at risk for not even trying to win rattled off 5 wins in a row to the end the season. Then the following season the team that everyone thought was still in a rebuild was ahead of schedule and winning games that people did not expect them to win, but that caused expectations to get elevated and Flores could not sustain it. His teams had a bad habit of starting of the seasons with very slow starts and had to dig themselves out of deep holes with end of season winning streaks. Is this the mark of a resilient coach capable of adapting or is this the mark of an unprepared coach not ready for primetime when the lights come on? Ultimately, I thought Flores earned himself another year to show what he could grow this program into. I think that he is a very talented coach, and this firing will probably teach him to be more about people instead of being solely focused on getting things done his way. With that said, I have no idea how Flores is out, and Grier’s work ID badge is still operational. He should have promptly been fired after it was clear that Noah Igbinoghene was only a fringe special teams player that Grier drafted in the 1st round.

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