The Miami Dolphins hiring of Brian Flores in 2018 may have changed the way teams pursued culture when hiring new head coaches.
If you ask Miami Dolphins fans in 2021 one word to describe head coach Brian Flores, you might get a unanimous answer. Culture.
In two seasons Flores, and obviously general manager Chris Grier, has been able to completely change the fortunes of this franchise and give fans hope. Something the team has not had since the golden boy Dan Marino called it quits.
More importantly, Flores’ hiring in 2018 not only took the Dolphins in a new direction, but it laid the foundation for what teams are looking for in a head coach in 2021. Culture.
Brian Flores’ hiring for the Miami Dolphins caused teams to rethink culture against play calling at head coach.
The 2021 head coaching hiring cycle featured guys like New York Jets’ Robert Saleh and Detroit Lions’ Dan Campbell. Both of them had one great similarity, which was their ability to, “rally players and be a leader.”
When approaching the idea of a coaching change, teams mainly consider two things. How can a coach impact the locker room culture, and how can he impact the product on the field.
When the Dolphins hired Flores, fans looked at previous New England Patriots assistants turned head coaches and the results were not promising.
Heading into year one at the helm for the Dolphins, the team seemed in stock for a long rebuild after an 0-and-7 start, but the team would end up winning five of their last nine games to end the year at 5-and-11.
Then heading into an offseason somewhat similar to what the Jacksonville Jaguars are headed into, the team sold its newfound culture, and yes lots of money, towards players. They even went out and drafted players that they felt fit the culture.
This would all culminate into a 10-win season, while also owning the third overall pick thanks to Flores and Grier wanting to have players who fit their culture.
Now how this impacts this year’s coaching cycle.
Every team wants to have a coach that the players will play for, no matter the situation or outcome. Saleh and Campbell have been praised by players they have coached for being leaders of men.
The two will also be tasked with difficult rebuilds on the horizon, but so was Flores. If teams are fortunate to have both the assets, a patient owner, and the will to set a new culture, they could see immense growth, just like Flores has with the Dolphins.