Ranking Brian Flores At the Midpoint: Your Thoughts?

I won’t get into a lot of minutia and detail here, but I wanted to give some thoughts on how Brian Flores has done this year so far.

Yahoo got Flores’s team wrong, but made a bold prediction

Let’s break it into his pros and cons.

Let’s start with the positives:

  1. He’s won a game.  That says something in this league, where it is indeed possible to go 0-16,and we can commend Flores for getting that first win.
  2. The players seem to like him.  I haven’t observed anyone giving up, not even in the blowouts.  The guys are hitting hard and trying.
  3. Penalties are way down.  Flores’s system is to make guys run sprints when the commit fouls in practice, and this discipline seems to carry over to the games.
  4. His coordinators are improving.  I gave Flores a lot of criticism for hiring two of his New England buddies, neither of whom had ever called plays at any level.  But now, the units are clicking more, especially the offense, which is showing some positive signs under Chad O’Shea’s play calling.
  5. Flores’s handling of all the injuries is a strong testament to what he must be doing in practice.  It’s one thing for the Patriots to miss a lineman for one game, when 4 other experienced All-Pros can step up and cover for the new guy.  But on a team like the Dolphins, filled with undrafted no-names, who is supposed to step up?  Yet somehow, they did.  Jamal Wiltz males a key interception instead of Reshad Jones or X Howard…who saw that coming?

And now, unfortunately, come the negatives:

  1. Most of these positives above have only come to light in the last 3 games, after showing absolutely nothing in September.  A head coach cannot start learning the job in November,  Flores needed to be far better prepared early on.
  2. Minkah Fitzpatrick.  I’ve gone back and forth on this, but Minkah is playing at an All-Pro level right now, simply because his new coach let him play safety.  The results don’t lie.  I rarely take a disgruntled player’s side when it comes to these situations, but in this case, Minkah was 100% correct.   By all accounts, he asked to remain at safety.  Didn’t demand it or pout or call anyone names on social media.   Flores didn’t make Jakeem Grant play left guard, so why did Flores insist on making Minkah play slot CB?  And then weak side safety.  And then wide CB.  And then hybrid LB.   Minkah knows his strengths.  Minkah has actually played football.  When he says he’ll excel at safety, why not believe him?  The Steelers certainly did.   And now, because of this, we’re looking at maybe getting a #17-20 overall pick (who may be good in the future, or may be Dion Jordan) in exchange for a sure-thing, lights-out safety for the next decade.
  3. The strategy.  Flores’s use of timeouts and challenges shows that he’s not ready to lead.  He might get there, some day, but right now, he cannot process everything fast enough.  His timeout last Sunday gave the Jets 5 points and momentum.  He didn’t challenge plays when replay clearly showed the Dolphins got screwed.    Making decisions like he were a teenager playing Madden 2019 (fake punts, field goals, and sneak onside kicks all in the same game)?   During a game, decisions must be made on every single play, and they must be made quickly.  Flores has not shown me that he gets that part of it.
    Examples:  We already covered his timeout vs. the Jets.  But the week before at Pittsburgh, the Steelers faced a third and 20.  Clock ticking.   More than likely, Pitt was going to run a draw play and end the half.  But Flores called a boneheaded timeout.  Pitt came back saw that blitz coming a mile away.  Touchdown Steelers.  Because of Flores’s useless timeout.

 

I’m curious what you guys think as well:    Are there strengths and weaknesses in Flores that I’m missing?   Have I been unfair?

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20 Comments

  1. I think we’re 100% on the same page, and I especially hate that we couldn’t just let Minkah play free safety and in return we’re going to get a middle of the round 1st round pick. Yeah sure, it could end up a great pick but there’s certainly no guarantees of it.

    But moving on… the encouraging thing to me is that the things we can call negatives are things that should be correctable with time and experience. Right now the coaching staff can afford to be overly (sometimes stupidly) aggressive because what does it really hurt in the long run? But they can take that and learn from it and be better game managers and play callers next season. Assuming of course they are willing and able to grow and adapt to the talent they have. Adam Gase had every chance to do the same and instead he seemed to stubborn to call anything more than bubble screens 90% of the time. So hard to really know. But I do like the way he has his players fighting hard for it even though there’s really not much to play for for many of them.

  2. I’ll throw my 2 cents in here-I do like the way the players have been playing hard football-haven’t seen that in a while so seeing it makes me believe they like the coach and we aren’t privy to their meetings etc. so whatever is being said or handled in-house, seems to be making a difference in their playing attitude.

    1. Author

      Agreed. I see some gaffes that Flores made, but I don’t see the arrogance that Gase had or the lost look that Philbin had. The players seem to repsect him

  3. Seems like Brian Flores is following my advice about taking timeouts to help the other team.

    1. Author

      Classic comment! Welcome back, Joe.

  4. Timeouts are best utilized to give extra time to come up with the worst possible defensive formation for the next play. I’m still proud of that timeout I called at the end of that Green Bay game when the clock was running down on the Packers. Remember what I always say when the other team has no timeouts left and the clock is running out: Timeout!

      1. Author

        I guess it was 4th and 10 (not 4th and 8 like I just wrote). I remembered it was 4th down and I remembered Rodgers had just been leveled by Wake.

      2. Oh my GOSH! I HATED the ending to that game! Joe really had to call that timeout to end the game for us 🙁 That game still haunts me lol

    1. 😃 that’s hilarious Joe. I’m still peeved about that call though.

    2. We’re you feeling queasy Joe??? LOL!

  5. In what century do we get a franchise quarterback? (Just kidding Sean not Jay)

    1. Author

      Wow, we heard from both Joe Philbin and from Jay today. It’s like memory lane !

  6. Nothing beats the lost in space look on Gase’s face on Sunday…I won’t be shocked if he’s gone by end of season…this fan base and media are not kind…even with a winner, they complain about something!

    1. Author

      To be fair–and I suppose this is just my opinion–Gase didn’t do too much to blow that game. It was all on his players.
      The tight end didn’t squeeze the ball when he hit the ground after his touchdown.
      Darnold threw a ghastly interception.
      Our defensive line played their best game in years…I’m really pleased about how many times they captured LaVeon Bell in the backfield.
      The bad snap (safety) that Darnold didn’t even try for.
      It seemed to me that in Miami, we had some decent talent, but Gase’s playcalling cost us games.
      For the Jets, he has nothing to work with. He’s still an arrogant prick, but if I were a Jet fan, I’d be furious at Darnold, not Gase.

      1. But players playing well lower than their capability seems to be a hallmark of Gase. Why is his O-line in shambles everywhere he goes?

  7. I think Flores is doing about as well as to be expected of a new coach who has never even come close to doing this job before. The important thing to me is seeing how the players respond and react to his leadership, and it seems they are really starting to buy in to the foundation of what he wants to do. The jokes at the Dolphins expense have largely disappeared, thanks to the win against the Jets and the decent showing on MNF against the Steelers. Even with all the talent being shipped out, this team does not look like the worst in the league. The Jets and the Bengals have that covered by a mile.

    1. Yes true and now we resort to cheering for the bottom feeders which is not an easy task. Cinci is flat out brutal I don’t think that they will win a game unless Miami lays down which I doubt they will do. They will also take a QB so the Fins may not get their guy although they will get someone decent.

      Coach just needs to eliminate the stupid decisions at key points in the game…

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