Coach Flores has changed the Dolphins tide

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 08: Head coach Brian Flores of the Miami Dolphins looks on against the Baltimore Ravens during the first quarter at Hard Rock Stadium on September 08, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 08: Head coach Brian Flores of the Miami Dolphins looks on against the Baltimore Ravens during the first quarter at Hard Rock Stadium on September 08, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Brian Flores deserves credit for transforming the Miami Dolphins from a bottom dweller to a fierce team that no one wants to play

As a Miami Dolphins fan,  we have been eager to see something, basically anything that could resemble a solid foundation.  Questionable trades, overspending on free agents, cutting players with large salary cap ramifications, trading away draft assets for basically nothing, the list and more importantly, the empathy could go for a while, but things have changed in South Florida and that is all due to Brian Flores, aka Coach Flo.

Coach Flo joined Miami fresh off a Super Bowl Championship with the New England Patriots, his 4th to be exact. A prestige that no other Miami coach has accomplished. Working in collaboration with Chris Grier, Miami Dolphins General Manager, the two worked to gut their roster and accumulate draft picks.  It’s weird to link that concept with the Dolphins, accumulating draft picks has been a foreign concept to Miami.  This is a team that treated draft picks like dirty laundry and chose to give them away rather than build from within.

The strategy for the Miami Dolphins changed under Coach Flo before his team ever stepped on the field.  Coach Flo traded away his best pure athlete in Laremy Tunsil, as he didn’t want to allocate 20MM a year to a player looking for a max contract extension.  Additionally, he got rid of players he thought were locker room drama kings, trading away Kiko Alonso, as he didn’t fit the culture the Dolphins wanted to implement.  Lastly, he didn’t believe Minkah Fitzpatrick understood his playbook or vision and traded him away.  All of this is known, and media outlets poured out their thoughts on social media, that the “ tank” was on.

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The Dolphins started the 2019 season, as everyone expected 0-7.   But while the Dolphins were losing they started to believe in Coach Flo which translated into ending with a 5-4 record.  Fast forward to 2020, and everyone thought this season was to be similar to the last, being the second year of the rebuild, the expectations were not set high.  Similar to 2019, the Dolphins opened the season with two straight losses, but since then have gone on a four-game win streak, something that this team hasn’t accomplished since 2016.

Coach Flo hasn’t gained national recognition, as media outlets still believe these are the same old Dolphins.  But similar to the change of tides that Coach Flo implemented when he began his Dolphins journey, you can’t help but notice this team.  On the defensive front, the Miami Dolphins are third in the league in fewest points allowed and are third in the league in points scored by a defense.   Just to put that in perspective, in 2019, the Miami Dolphins were dead last in both of those categories.

On the offensive side of the ball, Coach Flo made a bold statement, inserting Tua Tagovailoa into the starting line up after a blowout victory against the New York Jets.  Everyone questioned the move, as the Dolphins, under Ryan Fitzpatrick, were rolling.  However, Coach Flo knew what he had in Fitzpatrick, which was sometimes Fitzmagic, and other times Fitztrageic.  Coach Flo decided to change the tide again and insert a fresh rookie into the starting line up and see if he can change the course of the season.  Tua’s first game didn’t go as planned, and what happened – Media outlets started creating drama stating Tua was auditioning for his life.  That was drowned out by Coach Flo, as he preached patience and virtue to his team, and they rewarded him with another victory this past week, against arguably the best offense the Miami Dolphins will face this season.

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If 2020 has taught us anything is that adapting to change is not only smart it’s imperative.  Coach Flo has believed in his team since he started.  The changing of tides is approaching as Dolphin fans have seen first hand, which will be followed by all national media attention.  There hasn’t been much love focused on Coach Flo, but remember this is year two of a rebuild, and he is once again armed with two first and second-round selections in the 2020 draft and has a team playing the polar opposite of where they were last year.

It might be a bold statement to make, but let’s put this out there – Brian Flore is the NFL Coach of the Year.