I didn’t think Brian Flores would be getting fired today. I really didn’t. I didn’t think that at around 9:30 AM that I would be getting texts from friends simply stating; “Flores is gone.” I did what every self-respecting Miami Dolphins fans did and rushed to Twitter and there it was. Brian Flores, who went 24-25 in his three years with the Dolphins who has gone 5-10 against teams with an above 500 record, who has beaten Bill Belichick three out of the last four times he played him, is out as the coach of the Dolphins.
Yes, there has been some chatter on the web that Brian Flores may not be 100% safe on this Black Monday. We saw Jay Glazee briefly mention it yesterday during the Fox pregame show as something to keep an eye on. But I think most of us thought that Flores did enough by going 8-9 to end the season and making the defense into an ass-kicking machine. I thought that Flores could take that to Stephen Ross and say that he promises to run that style of defense to start next season instead of waiting until week nine like he did this year. I figured Flores would be in on getting rid of Tua for Deshuan Watson. Telling Ross all that, I really did think that would be enough to convince Ross to give him one more year to make the playoffs and possibly more.
Yes, Flores is responsible for the ridiculous offensive line strategy that was to start a rookie, two second-year players, a guy at center that never did it before, and Jesse Davis all while being coached by a guy who seems like the job is way over his head. Flores is also the guy that thought not one but two offensive coordinators was the way to go. That was doomed from the start because we all knew it was a stupid idea.
But as I said, I thought what he did over the last two months was enough to get another year especially with Watson very likely being pursued if all his legal stuff gets cleared. But I and many others were wrong.
I think we all know there were some issues behind the scenes between Brian Flores, some of the rest of the administration, and the players. The whole Tua Tagovailoa situation was probably the event horizon that lit this franchise ablaze two seasons ago. I’m not sure we’ll ever, truly, know who wanted who and when did they want them. Who wanted Tua drafted over Herbert and when did they want it is important here. It appears that Flores wanted Justin Herbert and Grier and Ross wanted Tua which led to Tua and Flores having an icy relationship.
We saw Tua getting reamed out by Flores last week in Tennessee and he barely acknowledged him. That just looked weird to me. It speaks to the idea that the players couldn’t care less what Flores was saying. I don’t think it meant that Flores lost the locker room but it didn’t look good.
My personal opinion and I have nothing but what is out there to read, is that Brian Flores was difficult to work with. I get the sense that he brought the New England Bill Belichick approach of a no-nonsense way about him which I like, but he also did it with an arrogance that just rubs players the wrong way especially when Flores hasn’t won anything as a head coach. Kyle Van Noy alluded to that when he was released and based on what is being said now that seems to be the case.
You can’t do the Belichick routine and treat players like they’re nothing without having skins on the wall. When you do that, you just come off as a jerk and weird. Nobody is saying it’s not your team but treating your players like human beings is probably the way to go.
What’s surprising to me is that Flores and Grier’s relationship was strained. It always seemed like those two guys were in sync with each other.
Where the Dolphins go from here is anybody’s guess. We all think that the team is going to go after Jim Harbaugh but everything coming out of Miami is that Stephen Ross will not take Jim Harbaugh out of Michigan. Apparently, he cares more about Michigan than the team he owns.
Kind of weird but okay. That leaves names like Doug Pederson, Byron Leftwich, Eric Bienemy, and Brian Daboll. There’s a bunch of other coordinators to choose from but picking a name right now isn’t going to get me anywhere so I won’t do that. I suppose the question is do you want an established guy who has done it before or a young offensive guy that has all the answers? Not sure.
What I do know is that all I wanted was a calm day where we celebrated Miami’s victory over the Patriots and talk about what needs to happen to put this team in the playoffs next year. I didn’t want to deal with all this but this is the Miami Dolphins and if they’ve taught us anything is that you need to expect the unexpected. I can’t imagine what tomorrow will bring.