His tenure with the Miami Dolphins got off to a bit of a rocky start.
Brian Flores was hired as the head coach of the team after spending 15 prosperous seasons with the New England Patriots, and it seemed like the Dolphins were trying to do everything they could not to win ahead of his first season in 2019.
Welcome to Miami, Brian Flores! Flores is the 13th head coach in franchise history.
Read More: https://t.co/W2cya0hU9d
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) February 4, 2019
Miami traded away talented players like Laremy Tunsil, Kiko Alonso, and Kenny Stills before his first campaign, essentially cleaning out the cupboard of ingredients Flores and his staff had to work with.
In his first four games as a head coach in Miami, Flores’ Dolphins got outscored by a combined 163-26 margin.
After hitting rock bottom right out of the gate, Flores’ ability to weather the storm and keep the program moving in the right direction became evident.
As he heads into year three in South Florida, we’ll highlight why Flores is the ideal person to be coaching the Dolphins right now.
Establishing A Culture
The first four games of Flores’ tenure with the Dolphins were historically bad, and things didn’t start to turn around in the results department until they beat the New York Jets in Week 9 to record their first victory.
Even though they lost three more games before beating New York, the Dolphins were competitive in all those games.
This showed that the team was not going to mail in the season under their new leader.
Additionally, Flores decision to insert Ryan Fitzpatrick into the lineup flew in the face of the tanking narrative surrounding the franchise.
Fitzpatrick was clearly better than Josh Rosen at that time, and Flores knew he couldn’t earn the respect of his players by continuing to start an inferior option.
It’s possible that Miami’s front office and their fans were hoping for a worse finish than their 5-11 record, but Flores successfully limited the damage that a losing culture could inflict on a franchise.
Diffusing Awkward Situations
The Dolphins have essentially had a quarterback controversy before and during the start of each of Flores’ prior two seasons.
We touched on the 2019 dilemma he had between Rosen and Fitzpatrick, and the 2020 season brought more where that came from with Fitzpatrick and Tua Tagovailoa.
The Dolphins invested a top-five draft pick in Tagovailoa, so he was always going to play in 2020, but Flores had to decide when to cross that bridge.
Tagovailoa took over the team full-time in Week 8 last year against the Los Angeles Rams.
He showed some promise, but also was falling short in games Miami needed to win to remain in playoff contention.
Flores had the wherewithal and control of the team to insert Fitzpatrick to give the team a lift, and his machinations did not rip the team apart.
Head coach Brian Flores makes it clear: Tua is the Dolphins' QB1. 🐬 pic.twitter.com/KDirhIZpxL
— theScore (@theScore) September 2, 2021
Getting The Most Out Of Players
While Miami general manager Chris Grier deserves credit for restocking the roster with talent over the last two seasons, most fans wouldn’t put the Dolphins in the top-five, or even top-10 of most gifted teams in the league.
The Dolphins offensive line has been a patchwork unit at best during Flores’ tenure, and their backfield has been in a state of flux.
Miami also hasn’t had many blue-chip players at linebacker during Flores’ tenure.
But with a dedicated approach and team-first mentality, he has been able to prove once again that the sum of his parts together far exceeds what he was to work with individually.NEXT: How Dolphins Fans Should Feel About Deshaun Watson Rumors