The regular season of the NFL came to an end after Sunday’s week 18 match ups, and with that we expected many head coaches who had a rough year or a rough couple of years to be fired the next Monday. “Black Monday” is what they call it and every year 4-6 head coaches get the boot on this day. Some names that made the list were expected like: Matt Nagy, Vic Fangio, and Mike Zimmer, but there was one dismissal that made shockwaves across the NFL world and that was the firing of former Miami Dolphins HC Brian Flores. Was it really the wrong move?
This was a dismissal that was not expected by anyone, this Sunday Jay Glazer was going over some names that could be on the hot seat, when speaking of Flores Glazer stated that Flores should be safe but he had been hearing some things out of Miami. But after winning 8 of the last 9 games no one expected Brian Flores to be even remotely in danger of losing his job.
Stephen Ross held a press conference on Monday, January 10th where Ross told the press Flores’ dismissal had “nothing to do with performance.” Miami Dolphins reporter Adam Beasley stated that Flores was “very difficult to work with, and his relationships with [Chris] Grier, his staff and players went from fraught to non-existent at times.”
Other reporters had stated similar things about Flores before hand and alluded to that being the reason Brian Flores struggled at bringing in high caliber staff. Some of Flores’ biggest red flags included the revolving door of offensive coordinators, and being unable to hire a quality coach for the offensive line. In 2021 Flores promoted Lemuel Jeanpierre who had been the assistant OL coach in 2020 where the OL ranked 28th for the year on ESPN. Jeanpierre was promoted to OL coach in 2021 where the Dolphins OL ranked 32nd for the entire year.
Under Jeanpierre the Miami Dolphins pass protection rankings were dead last every single week during the 2021 season according to PFF.
No one questions Flores skillset but his ability to surround himself with top caliber personnel was definitely a red flag, especially on offense. Now Adam Beasley also stated that the relationship with QB Tua Tagovailoa was broken from the first day Tagovailoa arrived.
Beasley states that Flores never had Tua’s back, makes sense when you throw in your rookie QB into the fire against the most violent defense in the NFL for his debut (Rams). Bench the young QB instead of letting him go through normal growing pains, and creating a whirlpool of drama by pursuing Deshaun Watson for 6 months while disregarding the effects it could have had on the locker room and the player’s morale.
Especially when the player being put through the ringer the most is the 2020 #5 overall pick who has tremendous expectations for the Dolphins franchise.
The smear campaign is definitely in full effect within Miami to try and put Brian Flores in a bad light, but it’s important to note that Flores led the Miami Dolphins to back to back winning seasons for the first time in 20 years even with those deficiencies. Which goes to show how premium caliber of a coach he is.
But again once the workplace gets too toxic someone has to go, it was either Chris Grier or Brian Flores and Mr. Ross decided to pull the trigger on Flores. Flores had his deficiencies but I’m not sure if picking the guy who has been involved in scouting/drafting since 2000 is a good choice. Miami has had plenty of head scratching draft picks in the past 20 years and the common denominator through it all is Chris Grier.
I won’t call the firing of Brian Flores a mistake, although I’m still shocked and didn’t expect this outcome. But we have to see how it plays out. However a “half a** rebuild gets you half a** results” and with that being said I feel very strongly about cutting ties with Chris Grier, bringing in brand new GM and HC and then let them make the decisions with the roster and what direction they want to take.
Firing Brian Flores isn’t the big mistake (for now), but not giving Chris Grier the boot to be able to have a clean slate could definitely backfire sooner rather than later.