Let me start by saying that Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores gets some blame for the disappointing 2021 season. He does not get zero blame for what went wrong, but I believe that Flores should get more credit than blame.
Yes, I know some of you are fuming right now about his decision to hire 132 offensive coordinators and an offensive line coach whose resume is not good enough for an entry-level position on other teams.
I also hear you when you tell me his shenanigans not to name the offensive play-caller and change who it was throughout the year were annoying.
Oh, and yes, I know, it was annoying for Flores not just to admit he is calling the plays on defense when we all know he is.
All of those are valid points, and yes, some blame for this roller coaster ride of a season that ended with the ride breaking down before the finish goes on Flores.
Brian Flores deserves more credit than blame for the Miami Dolphins 2021 season.
You may have noticed I left out the part where Flores could not just name Tua Tagovailoa his quarterback while also saying Miami was not trying to acquire Deshaun Watson. At the time, I was short-sighted on the situation, and I was mad too.
It was an embarrassment for the organization, and it was well-known Miami was trying to trade for Watson right up to the trade deadline.
HOWEVER…Now that I can see the big picture and have let the situation play out, I understand where Flores was coming from, and honestly, I feel bad for Flores.
The team started 1-7, then won seven straight, and got dominated by the Tennessee Titans to be eliminated from the playoffs. Flores’ ability to turn the season around and get his players to fight and not quit should not go unnoticed. And yes, the team starting 1-7 should not either, but this is why I feel bad for Flores.
Flores has been handed some of the worst cards in the NFL since becoming the Dolphins head coach. Year 1 was “Tank for Tua.” That is a wash. Year 2? Well, that was just a disaster because Tagovailoa was not ready and looked like he did not belong in the NFL. Oh yeah, they still won 10 games. Year 3? Well, that is where things get spicy.
I call Year 3 “Tank with Tua.” We all expected Tagovailoa to look way better than he has in his second NFL season, but let’s just speak freely here…this safe space. Tagovailoa has looked like one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL this season, not to mention he was injured twice and missed games.
Yet, Miami started winning even with their starting quarterback holding the team back every week, and Tagovailoa’s trainer saying Flores had lost the locker room.
Flores’ defense is one of the best units in the NFL. They are a clear top 10 unit this season, and if the offense could get more than three first downs a game, they had a clear path to being an elite top-five defense this season.
That defense had willed this team to wins during the winning steak, even when the quarterback held them back. Tagovailoa’s inability to run an NFL offense or throw the ball 10+ yards down the field put Miami at a disadvantage before the game even started.
People were mad Flores did not say the team was not trading for Watson, but when you think about it, it makes sense why he did not.
Every morning when Flores drinks his coffee, he probably thinks to himself, “How the heck are we going to win this game with Tagovailoa as our starting quarterback.”
The amount of pressure on Flores this season, when people, including myself, were calling for his job, was insane. And pressure that is unfair when you break it all down because how can we blame Flores for a team’s failures when the team’s biggest disappointment is a quarterback he did not and still does not want?
Yet, Flores pushed through the pressure and gave Miami the opportunity to make the playoffs, but his quarterback once again held his team down.
Flores deserves another year in Miami, and he deserves a year with an elite quarterback to pair with his elite defense. And so he can enjoy his morning coffee!