During Coach Flores time with the Miami Dolphins, he has been known to take players and place them in unique positions within the defense. As many scratched their head as Brian Flores moved a long-time NFL corner, Eric Rowe, from boundary corner to strong safety, there were plenty of confused fans and pundits around the league.
But as we know, in 2021, that move during the 2019 season turned out to be a smashing success. Rowe has bulked up and improved his play strength required for the physical position and is now known across the league as a premier tight end cover man.
Rowe is not the only move within the defense that would be viewed as non-traditional. Jason McCourty, a long-time Corner, is sharing time at free safety. Sam Egoavoen, a Canadian football outside linebacker, was moved to pass rusher, and Bobby McCain, our starting free safety the previous two years, was a nickel corner.
But has Coach Flores success along the defensive side of the ball led to overconfidence for the 3rd year coach on the opposite side? Flores and his offensive staff have been moving guys around on offense, but not with the same success.
2nd round selection Liam Eichenberg, who played well in relief of the unavailable Austin Jackson at left tackle during the season opener, has been moving all over the offensive line since being selected by the Miami Dolphins in the 2021 NFL draft. Liam has taken snaps at Left and Right tackle during games and was placed at guard to begin the season, where he still gets practice reps.
Liam Eichenberg, a natural left tackle, should be given a chance to start over Austin Jackson at left tackle. More troublesome is the inferior play by 2020 1st round selection Jackson. His constant whiffs and lack of punch have led to multiple pressures during his lone game against an impressive Buffalo defensive front.
The list of offensive misses grows much farther than Liam. Jakeem Grant, a slight return man by nature, has also been given snaps on offense as an outside receiver. Grants small size and quick burst would make him a natural slot, but his poor play makes fans wonder why he plays that phase at all.
The last example but not the previous case, Jesse Davis. Who would be best used as a 6th lineman is protecting Tua’s (when healthy) blindside. As a starter, Jesse has played his best snaps at guard. But his ability to play just well enough at all spots except center makes him better suited to come off the bench. But Coach Flores and his staff have him in a featured and vital role along the offensive line. He is also a cruel captain.
In short, Miami has a good coach in Brian Flores. But his success at finding players to fill roles needed on defense that are not where they have played in the past may be clouding his judgment at placing players on offense.
MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA – SEPTEMBER 19: Head coach Brian Flores of the Miami Dolphins looks on prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at Hard Rock Stadium on September 19, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)