Not a fan of the Miami Dolphins hiring Brian Flores

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 01: Miami Dolphins fans look on during a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at Hard Rock Stadium on September 1, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 01: Miami Dolphins fans look on during a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at Hard Rock Stadium on September 1, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

The Miami Dolphins are now expected to name Brian Flores their head coach when the New England Patriots season comes to an end. It’s not a good move.

To say the least I have been wrong about the Miami Dolphins far more than I have been right. I admit when I’m wrong and do not gloat when I’m right. I will however go on record now that the hiring of Brian Flores is going to be a mistake. Let us hope I’m wrong.

Many fans will point to the 14 years of experience that Flores has in the NFL. All of which have been in New England. We can start there.

14 years is a long time but for Flores he spent 2004 to 2007 as a scouting assistant and a pro-scout. From 2008 to 2010 Flores was the special teams assistant and then an offensive assistant and special teams assistant. He first became a defensive assistant in 2011 before becoming a safeties coach in 2012.

His first position coaching job came in 2012 when he was solely responsible for that unit. He coached that unit until 2015 before moving to coach the linebackers from 2016 through 2018. In 2018 Flores was sort of the defensive coordinator. The Patriots didn’t technically have a DC.

So if Flores is so good why didn’t NE elevate him last year to that spot when Matt Patricia left? That is a question that I think is reasonable to ask. Looking at his resume, Flores has only been in charge of a defensive unit since 2012. Seven seasons and never having been a coordinator. Now he will run an entire team.

The Patriot Way

Many fans are pointing to the fact that the Patriots have had success. More than any other NFL team in that span and yes, Flores has been a part of that for 14 years. The “Patriot” way however is not something that can simply be copied and pasted into another organization.

While the Patriots have won and won often, many players have complained about the team and their process after they leave. Flores has been a part of that as well. The Patriot Way works for the Patriots but if the Miami Dolphins believe that Flores will bring that same level of play to the Dolphins, it’s not likely.

Bill Belichick’s coaching tree

Can you name all of the coaches that have had success after leaving the New England Patriots? Bill O’Brien. The list ends right there. O’Brien spent five seasons with the Patriots and one as the offensive coordinator. He would leave the Patriots to be the head coach of the Nittany Lions at Penn State. Two years later he returned to the NFL.

In total, eight members of the Bill Belichick coaching staff have moved on to become NFL head coaches.

  • Romeo Crennel: Crennel was the HC for both the Browns and Chiefs and compiled a 28-55 combined record with his best season being in 2007 with the Browns. It was the only time in his career he was above .500 as a head coach.
  • Al Groh: Groh was the coach of the New York Jets for one season taking them to 9-7. He resigned after the season to return to college. Groh was a linebackers coach with Belichick.
  • Josh McDaniels: McDaniels was a hot coaching prospect and still is today but continues to turn down jobs to say in New England. He coached two seasons with the Broncos as their HC but was fired after the 2010 season. One of those reasons was because, like Belichick, he violated NFL rules and videotaped an opponent. After a short unsuccessful stint as the OC for the Rams, he returned to the Patriots.
  • Eric Mangini: Mangini lasted longer than any other Belichick disciple. He coached three years with the Jets and two more with the Browns. His combined record of 33-47 took the backseat to his whistleblowing of the Belichick cheating scandal.
  • Nick Saban: We all know about Saban.
  • Jim Schwartz: Some label Schwartz as part of the Belichik tree but in reality, he only got his start in the NFL as a researcher for Belichick during a short period of time when Belichick was with the Browns. He spent five seasons as a head coach for the Lions.
  • Bill O’Brien: The most successful of the Belichick tree. He has a 42-38 record in his five seasons with the Texans.
  • Matt Patricia: Patricia finished his first season with the Lions this year. He did so with a losing record but it is way too early to pass judgement.

For all the success that Belichick has had, his coaching staff can not say the same when they leave New England. Several assistants have gone on to have marginal success at the college level (not including Saban).

Want more? 19 coaches have gone on to find work as executives or coordinators with other teams. Thomas Dmitroff is having some success as the Falcons GM, but the same can’t be said for Scott Pioli who took over the Chiefs from 2009-2012. Mike Tannenbaum is from that tree as well and we know how well he did with the Jets and Dolphins.

Overall, whatever Bill Belichick is doing in New England his staff can’t figure out how to take that to another team. But the Dolphins believe that Brian Flores will be the exception.

Did anyone else want him?

This is a valid question. While teams were not knocking down doors to hire Kris Richard from the Cowboys, clearly the Cowboys thought so highly of their passing game coordinator that they were looking for ways to keep him in Dallas. Maybe Richard turned down the Dolphins. One thing is for certain, no one was even knocking on the door for Flores.

The coaching situation around the league this year provide a thin list of varying options for teams to look. In such a thin market however, Flores didn’t get much attention and that is a big concerning as well. Are we to believe that the Dolphins saw something more in Flores than everyone else?


The Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier reportedly knows Flores and perhaps maybe Grier believes that Flores is a guy who can weather a rebuild. The Dolphins could be looking at Flores as a guy who will learn the head coaching ropes as the team rebuilds. It’s a notion that I don’t share.

The Dolphins are going to need to rebuild the roster and doing so means making tough decisions with the roster. Flores will not have control or even say over the roster itself so all he needs to do is coach but there is still a culture that is in need of definition. There is still a team that has no identity or knowledge of who exactly they are. Can Flores, a first time HC who has never so much as held a coordinators job mold and shape a team?

More from Phin Phanatic

Coaching staff

This will be a very interesting thing to watch. Unlike other candidates, Flores has been with one team his entire career and that may limit him on who he knows outside of the team that could join him in Miami. He will need to find new coordinators unless the Dolphins believe that Flores will retain Dowell Loggains and Darren Rizzi. Surely not Matt Burke.

When Flores finally does officially get hired he will need to convince other coaches that share his same vision to come to Miami where a rebuild will be in place. It is not an appealing situation by any means.

Hopefully Flores will not have the ego that Adam Gase had and will hire quality coaches and coordinators and then let them do their jobs. It would be ideal if he could land experienced coordinators who have had success but does Flores have that type of reputation within the NFL circles to entice them to join him? That is what remains to be seen.

The good news

I have been covering the Miami Dolphins on this site since Nick Saban was the coach. I supported Tony Sparano and Cam Cameron. I liked the Joe Philbin hire and loved the Adam Gase hire. I have supported them through all the bad years and will continue to do so.

This is the first time that I have emphatically not liked a Dolphins head coaching hire and that could be a good thing because as history shows, my track record of who I have supported isn’t very good. I also supported Ryan Tannehill and Chad Henne and thought they could both be better so when I say that I’m not a fan of Dwayne Haskins or Kyler Murray maybe that to should be the Dolphins next big off-season move.

Flores’ future

There is no telling if Flores will get a full five years or if he will, like Gase, get three years to turn this around. In 2019 he will hit a lot of bumps as he learns the ropes and he can’t pick up the phone and call his old boss because his old boss is now his rival. He will have to rely on those around him with experience and take the knocks.

Hopefully he will learn quickly unlike his predecessor. Hopefully he will have a coaches ego but not an inflated one. He will need to build a team and build unity. He will also need to win. Not next year but in year three there has to be a lot of progress.

Stephen Ross is putting the future of his franchise in the hands of Chris Grier who in turn may be putting his future in the hands of Brian Flores. While I’m not a fan of the hire I am a fan of the Dolphins so like every other hire that didn’t seem to make sense, we roll with it.

So why am I not a fan of this hiring? For all those reasons above and the fact that I don’t think Flores is ready yet. I think he needed to be a coordinator first and maybe even one outside of New England. Let us also remember that the Patriots have never been known for having great defenses either. It’s the other guy that is the reason they have been champions. But I’m sure the defense has helped.

I simply think that the Miami Dolphins could have done better. I think there were better options. Not many but some. A veteran coach like Mike McCarthy or a more experienced first time head coach like Kris Richard. A few others. But for now, we all become Flores fans and support him the best we can.

How do you feel about this hire? Tell us in the comments.