It has been a day since the Miami Dolphins fired head coach Brian Flores unexpectedly. Since then there has been a lot of speculation as to why.
Like many Dolphins fans, waking up on Monday was somewhat shocking. While some fans yelled it was about time, some others screamed that it was a stupid move. For the other fans, it was a feeling that put us in the middle. On one hand, there were plenty of reasons, on the other hand it made no sense.
So here we are, a day later, trying to make sense of why the Dolphins fired a head coach with the first back-to-back winning seasons in almost 20 years.
The popular opinion and the Dolphins take on this is that there was a frayed relationship between Flores, Chris Grier, and Tua Tagovailoa. That doesn’t seem to be something that is in dispute.
According to multiple reports, Flores was extremely rough. He didn’t communicate well with others and fell out of favor with Tua.
That brings us to Tua. Throughout the season many believed that it was Chris Grier who was pursuing Deshaun Watson but on Monday, it appears that was incorrect and it was Flores who wanted Watson. One report by a very well trusted friend said that after the Titans game, Tua and Flores had words that included Tua dropping an expletive at Flores.
Another report said that Grier tried to smooth things over with Flores and mend their relationship but it was Stephen Ross who stepped in and made the decision to fire Flores. Ross said as much in his press conference.
We can look at Tony Sparano and Joe Philbin as examples of Ross keeping a coach a year too long so maybe this was something he felt was inevitable and opted to get ahead of it instead of letting it fester.
Almost universally the move to fire Flores has been panned and mocked by the mainstream media. The local media has been much less critical although some have taken a few shots. Miami is an easy target for many in the national ranks so it isn’t surprising.
Also almost universally is the continued wonder as to why Ross would fire Flores and retain Chris Grier. That is something that is not going away any time soon and many question the message it has sent to coaching candidates.
One thing that does seem odd is that the Dolphins wanted to bring a new culture and attitude to the Dolphins and that was the “Patriot Way”. Part of that is the communication issues that often come from the Belichick tree. Flores doesn’t communicate outside of his coaching staff and as it has been pointed out, Ross is an absentee owner who isn’t there to talk with his coach, unlike Bob Kraft.
Flores has made mistakes. He failed at getting the offense correct and it has been reported that he often pushed for defensive players over offensive players. He has been through 4 offensive line coaches and 4 offensive coordinators.
His 2021 season started off 1-7 and he lost to the Falcons, Jaguars, and Raiders after holding leads. During that stretch, he ran a different style of defense and finally changed ahead of the Ravens game. That spurned a 7 game winning streak.
Flores is a good head coach and he could be great but it appears that Stephen Ross wants more of a family atmosphere where everyone may argue and bicker but relatively get along. Flores wasn’t going to be that type of guy.
In the end, nothing really matters. Stephen Ross owns the team and can do whatever he wants with it. The Dolphins will hire their 14th head coach over the next month or so and that coach will likely be given a big contract with a lot of guaranteed money but will that coach last beyond a few years? History says no.