Just hours after they ended their season with a victory over the New England Patriots, the Miami Dolphins have fired coach Brian Flores, a huge surprise to everybody as Flores appeared to have righted the ship after a shaky start. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross apparently felt that the team’s step backward this season was unacceptable.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported the news, and the Dolphins announced it shortly thereafter.
“I made a decision today to part ways with Brian Flores,” owner Stephen Ross said. “After evaluating where we are as an organization and what we need going forward to improve, I determined that key dynamics of our football organization weren’t functioning at the level I want it to be and felt that this decision was in the best interest of the Miami Dolphins.”
FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer reported Sunday that chatter from Miami indicated Flores was not 100 percent assured of returning to Miami.
“I heard later this week, just keep your eye on that Brian Flores,” Glazer said Sunday on FOX’s NFL pregame show. “If they got rid of Brian Flores, there is a lot more problems in that organization than just that. He’d get a job in two seconds.”
Coach Flores had been a breath of fresh air since arriving in Miami and has led the squad to a 24-25 record through three seasons with 11 of the losses coming in his first season at the helm. To put it into context, the team already has as many winning seasons under Flores as they had in the 11 seasons before his hiring.
After beating the New England Patriots in Sunday’s season finale, 33-24, the Dolphins clinched their second straight winning season. While that may not seem like much, it’s the first time the team has done so finishing the campaign 11-5 in both the 2000 and 2001 seasons.
With the Week 18 win the Dolphins also earned its first season-series sweep of the Patriots since the 2000 season. Dolphins head coach Brian Flores was a part of the Patriots for much of their dominance over Miami as he coached the team in various capacities from 2008-2018, and certainly appreciated the sweep, but described it in the most Bill Belichick-esque way possible.
“I think they do a great job. They’re well-coached, they battle for 60 minutes, you saw that tonight and they play well in all three phases,” Flores said. “Like I said earlier in the week, when you’re away I know certainly for me I’ve grown more of an appreciation for the things I learned there and have tried to implement them here and really in every area of my life. But it’s always nice to win. I’m happy for our players, coaches and our support staff to go out this way.”
Flores’s first year showed that players wanted to work with him, which led to an offseason free-agent signing class that was supposed to turn the page for the Dolphins’ previous mistakes. Coach Flores was able to produce his first 10 win season, which usually translates to a playoff appearance, however, the Dolphins were once again on the outside looking in.
Who could replace Brian Flores?
Jim Harbaugh and the Miami Dolphins have been connected for a while. There was the drama full 2011 season, where Stephen Ross and then General Manager Jeff Ireland decided to fly to San Francisco and have a meeting with Jim.
This past season, Jim Harbaugh had a season for the ages. Despite the Ohio State monkey on his back, he helped his team finish top 4. But, like all coaches outside the SEC, he fully understands how difficult it can be to win against those teams. Perhaps that’s why he hasn’t considered the NFL anymore.
Harbaugh is an offensive-minded coach, and the Dolphins desperately need someone like him. There are direct connections between Michigan and Stephen Ross, which might make sense once all the dust settles.
Miami Dolphins have fired coach Brian Flores