The biggest shock of the NFL’s “Black Monday” is here. The Dolphins break up with Brian Flores after just three seasons.
Flores, 40, was considered a rising star among NFL coaches. During the three seasons in Miami, he recorded a record of 24-25, but his last two seasons were victorious and during the first the Dolphins probably had the worst roster in the NFL. It was a success that they went 5-11, because it was legitimately said that they were a 0-16 team.
Flores never made it to the playoffs with the Dolphins, but in 2020 he had a 10-7 season and narrowly missed the last place on the wild card. In addition, the Dolphins’ defense improved under his supervision each season from a lower-level unit to an average but opportunistic group. In 2020, they finished first in the collection and in 2021 the eighth in the category.
Regardless, Miami decided to leave Flores after the 9-8 season, when his team won eight of the last nine games. Why did the dolphins decide to say goodbye to Flores? Here’s what we know about Miami’s decision.
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Why did the dolphins fire Brian Flores?
The Dolphins issued a statement to shed some light on their decision to break up with Brian Flores. Owner Stephen Ross indicated that there was an organizational dispute that led them to say goodbye to Flores.
“I decided to break up with Brian Flores today,” Ross said. “After evaluating where we are as an organization and what we need to further improve, I found that the key dynamics of our football organization are not working at the level I would like, and I felt that this decision was in the best interest. Miami Dolphins. I believe we have a talented young list and we have the opportunity to be much better in 2022. I want to thank Brian for his hard work and I wish him all the best for the future. “
So, what were these “key dynamics” that didn’t “work” in Miami? According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, there was “frustration and tension” between Flores and general manager Chris Grier.
“This has been cooking for the last time, I’d say more than a month,” Rapoport said during a performance on “Good Morning Football.”
What followed as a result of these problems was a power struggle. Grier, who has been with the Dolphins since 2016, won.
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What problems did Flores and Grier worry about? According to Rapoport, this was a lack of success for the team, which used its capital in the draft to improve the team.
“If you look at some of the personnel transfers that the Miami Dolphins have made and haven’t made, the frustration is certainly understandable,” Rapoport said. “Several selections in the first round failed and coach Brian Flores thought it could certainly be things that could be done better.”
Since Flores joined the team, the Dolphins have had six selections in the first round. They were mixed bags. Classes 2019 and 2021 brought several solid pieces in Jaylen Waddle, Jaelan Phillips and Christian Wilkins.
However, the 2020 class was not so strong. Tua Tagovailoa looked unconfirmed, especially compared to Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, while Austin Jackson struggled as an offensive starter. And their third pick from the first round of the draft – Noah Igbinoghene – was largely a healthy scratch during his second season.
As such, Flores had reason to be frustrated. But Ross obviously didn’t see it that way, and decided to keep Grier instead of Flores.
“It will always be one way or another,” Rapoport said of the situation. “It was supposed to be Flores or Grier. Obviously it was a big surprise that it was Brian Flores who would end up.”
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Who will replace Brian Flores in Miami?
When fans heard of Flores’s departure, one name immediately caught Dolphins fans. Jim Harbaugh is considering returning to the NFL after leading Michigan to the College Football playoffs last season.
Ross, the owner of Dolphins, is a man from Michigan and used to try to lure Harbaugh to Miami, so he was expected to chase Harbaugh again during this coaching cycle. However, Jeff Darlington of ESPN reports that Miami is not targeting a Michigan coach and will turn his attention elsewhere instead.
Although I realize that many assume that Flores’ departure is linked to Harbaugh’s potential availability, I can assure you that this is not the case. According to sources, the dolphins do not target Jim Harbaugh. The decision to fire Flores is completely independent.
– Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) January 10, 2022
It is not clear exactly what qualities Dolphins will look for in a new coach, but it is logical that they will look for someone with an offensive background to help Tagovailo develop during the third year of his rookie contract. Chief Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy has been a hot name on the coaching market for years, so he could be suitable for dolphins.
If the Dolphins are looking for a more proven coaching option, Jim Caldwell is on the market. In 2019, he served as assistant head coach and quarterback coach at the Dolphins and would be a safe way to help fix Miami’s troubles. Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien could also be considered.
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How Brian Flores’ departure will affect Deshaun Watson’s stakes
Another element of this shooting is how it could affect Deshaun Watson’s bets. The report says Flores’ presence was one of the main reasons Watson was willing to give up the trade ban clause to join the dolphins. Now this possibility is less certain.
“Brian Flores was a big reason why he wanted to be Deshaun Watson in Miami,” Rapoport said. “With Flores out, is that still the case? Has it changed? Is it much more open in Deshaun Watson’s lottery coming in March? There are a lot of questions now.”
Maybe if the Dolphins hired a coach that Watson respected as Bieniemy, he would still consider going to South Beach. That is, will the dolphins want to chase Watson with Flores away? Or will Grier stick to his Tagovailoa draft as he seeks his firm place? Time will tell, but Watson’s list of suitors may have shrunk by one due to the Dolphins’ decision.