I haven’t felt like this in a while. It’s the feeling or better yet mindsight that you experience when you go through a break up. You didn’t see it coming and was completely caught off guard. That is the best way to recap what happened with the Miami Dolphins and Brian Flores on Black Monday.
Any new coach that starts fresh with a team has one main goal, find a starting quarterback – actually scratch that, find a franchise quarterback. Flores’ first year, he went with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen – that didn’t really work out, which caused the Dolphins to kinda tank and then not tank, thereby leading to the 5th overall selection. A decision had to be made, Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert – all Miami Dolphins fans already know that outcome.
Let’s put it this way, if Justin Herbert was the Miami Dolphins starting quarterback, Coach Flores would still be the coach. What Justin did against the Raiders this past Sunday, is something that Tua will never be able to do. The San Diego Chargers ask Justin Herbert to win the game for them, Coach Flores ask Tua to not lose the game and trust in his defense. Notice the difference?
Coach Flores has the same fate as his predecessors.
Tony Sparano was gifted Chad Pennington for one season and then decided to pass on Matt Ryan for Chad Henne.
Nick Saban decided to pass on both Alex Smith and Aaron Rodger and then again on Drew Brees for Duante Cullpepper.
Joe Philbin drafted Ryan Tannehill over Russell Wilson or Derek Carr.
Adam Gase decided to stick with Ryan Tannehill than drafting for a quarterback and wasted two season with backup QBs due to Tannehill injuries.
What do the above all have in common? No franchise Quarterback. You can safely add Brian Flores to that list now. Whomever the Miami Dolphins front office decides to select for their next Head Coach, has one goal, get a quarterback. Is Tua Tagovailoa a franchise quarterback, based on his skill at this time the answer is no. I hate to say that. Yes, it has only been two years, but based on his sample size you can’t see a game that he actually took over and won. Look at all the teams in the playoffs – what do they have? A quarterback that can lead them to victory.
This year’s free agent crop isn’t the year you will find a franchise quarterback. You can find a serviceable quarterback that can fill in for you, Jimmy Garoppolo or even a Kirk Cousins, but that is a one to two year gap, where Miami Dolphin fans have seen this show before. The trade market offers Deshaun Watson, an actual franchise quarterback that wants to play for Miami, but a risk to all draft assets that have been accumulated would be the cost.
Look Chris Grier, the Miami Dolphins General Manager, was able to save himself from getting a pink slip, which is probably evident based on his 2021 draft class. But if you look at the 2020 draft class he should have been fired. He missed on all three first round picks (Tua, Austin and Noah). If the Dolphins traded those three picks for Deshaun no one would think twice about that, but we don’t have a time machine.
I feel bad for Coach Flores, but now that the dust has settled he failed to succeed on the most important thing a Head Coach needs to do, which is to grow and develop a quarterback. The Miami Dolphins have gone through this cycle since Dan Marino retired, whoever decides to lead the aqua and teal, you have one goal, get a quarterback, and the fans will love you for it.