Will the Miami Dolphins players buy into what Brian Flores is selling?
By Brian Miller
When Adam Gase took over the Miami Dolphins there was a shift in culture and focus and now with Brian Flores, we see it again.
Adam Gase tried but ultimately failed to reach his players. At some point over the course of his short three seasons, he started to lose the locker room. Brian Flores is now going to face the same dilemma as he begins his first season with the Dolphins.
Rewinding history to 2016 the Miami Dolphins were thrilled with the prospect of what Adam Gase would bring to the team. I personally witnessed some of that camaraderie with his players outside the team hotel prior to a game. It seemed as though he had a finger on the pulse of the players. A “player’s coach” they called him.
Somewhere that fell aside. His messages being sent by releasing certain players and trading others didn’t sit too well. His desire to fill roster spots with aging veterans who were long past their prime created mixed results in the locker room. His coaching wasn’t great either and that too led to players jumping off his “change of culture” wagon.
Now it is Brian Flores who gets to stand up and create a winning environment and earn the respect of the players he will coach. The fans want to know if he can?
So can he? That is a tough question but Flores has something that Adam Gase doesn’t have. Multiple Super Bowl rings and a proven winning track record with the Patriots. Most Patriots coaches who leave for other teams as HC’s don’t often find success but Flores could be different or it could be the same.
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Dolphins players talk highly of Flores through OTAs and mini-camps. They say there is no BS to him. He is straight forward and to the point and expects the players to do their job. He wants them to be physical but more importantly, he wants to play to their strengths and no expect them to play to his. If he can succeed in doing that, he will have a leg up on several of the previous head coaches that have come through Davie.
It will not be an easy task for Flores but starting with youth will help. Younger players are more coachable and unlike Gase, Flores is getting to start over with a lot of his own type of players and the Dolphins are not saddling him with contracts that he has to eat on the field. He will, over the course of the next two or maybe three seasons get to pick his starting QB or ride with Josh Rosen. Unlike Gase who inherited Ryan Tannehill and the contract extension, he signed in 2015.
Flores has a lot to change within the Dolphins locker room and we won’t know if he can until he gets them together for camp. From there we will get a better picture of what might be on the horizon.