These Miami Dolphins are going with the Flo; coach Brian Flores that is.
Ever since Flores took over as head coach in 2019, his decisions have been questioned and highly debated. One thing is for sure, coach Flo does things his way and does not care what anyone thinks about it.
Early on in preseason of 2019, then Dolphins receiver Kenny Stills expressed an opinion on rapper Jay-Z’s partnership with the NFL. The following day, Flores made the news by playing track after track of Jay-Z songs during a team practice. Many questioned the coach’s tactics. Yet fast forward to today, Stills was packaged in a deal for some hefty draft compensation and Miami hasn’t missed the production.
Unpopular Player Moves
Along the same vein of moving on from key players, Miami saw many other big names allowed to move on under Flores. Cameron Wake, Reshad Jones, Ryan Tannehill, Kenyan Drake, Laremy Tunsil and Minkah Fitzpatrick just to name a few. A lot of these guys were fan favorites. Nonetheless, Flores wasn’t trying to win popularity contests, he was trying to win games. All of the departed Dolphins have been replaced with players that have bought into the culture that Flores is building.
The awesome thing about Flores’s mindset is that he isn’t afraid to course correct either. After investing in new running backs Matt Breida and Jordan Howard, the Dolphins went with former seventh round pick Myles Gaskin as the lead back. This was just another example of Flores not sticking with names and feelings but rather about production and winning.
Flowing the Right Way
The Dolphins are on a roll right now. In the midst of that upswing, Flores made another move that garnered attention when he benched Ryan Fitzpatrick in favor of rookie Tua Tagovailoa. Because of the many brilliant decisions, Miami is in the playoff race and exceeding expectations. However, the coach continues to stay focused and maintaining the team-first mentality. In a recent press conference Flores said, “I’m not going to blow smoke up anyone’s behind. They know that. We’ve got a whole half of a season left, so I think we need to focus on that.”
The Dolphins are indeed focused. Proof of that is that they were without five assistant coaches due to COVID-19 in a road game against the Arizona Cardinals. The Dolphins made no excuses and Flores had his staff and team prepared. Miami played a complete game to defeat the Cardinals 34-31.
Coaches are measured on wins. When they don’t win they get fired. In his 24 games as head coach, the Dolphins are 10-14, including a current four-game win streak. In the previous 24 games prior to Flores, the Dolphins were 9-15 and that ended on a three-game losing streak.
By that measure, going with ‘The Flo’ got the Dolphins going in the right direction.