Tag: Dolphins

Dolphins final target as head coach: Brian Flores of the rival Patriots

It has been said for the past few weeks that the Miami Dolphins would eventually hire a coach who teaches, is accountable, manages game time situations, and ultimately wins football games.

Most of all, the coach has to be willing to build back the Dolphins to where they were before the Marino years.

That is, consistency year after year doesn’t mean just playoffs, or being competitive for that matter, but in GM Chris Grier’s words: championships.

Surely, Owner Stephen Ross said that he didn’t want to exactly go “3-13 next season” in his end of the season conference, but frankly the Dolphins might be awful for one or two seasons upcoming.

Ross also intimated that Adam Gase was in “win-now” mode…Gase can take that philosophy of “win-now” to the New York Jets as he becomes the caretaker of the offense and their young QB, Sam Darnold.

Enter the exciting or maybe underwhelming news of the Dolphins main head coaching target and first known interview: LB coach of the Patriots, Brian Flores.

The news was first reported by Adam Beasley days ago, but further confirmed by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.

Here’s what’s known about Flores.

Flores was born in Brooklyn and was a 2-year starter at Boston College.

Flores’ comes from parents who came to this country as immigrants from Honduras.

Football was an “escape” as he navigated the mean streets of Brownsville.

After the 2008 season, Flores found his way to the Patriots and met a younger Chris Grier then a scout with the Patriots.

Grier is now the Dolphins GM with VP superpowers.

Here’s where everything else is a little fuzzy, in fact, it goes dark in terms of Flores’ résumé.

Only those within the Patriots organization know what kind of a coach Flores is.

For one, Flores was a finalist for the head coaching position with the Arizona Cardinals last season.

In fact, before this season, Peter Schrager of the NFL Network said Brian Flores was the hottest candidate to be a head coach in 2019.

While Schrager’s prediction has nearly come true (no contract can be signed while the Patriots are playing in the playoffs) Flores was interviewed not only by the Dolphins, but by the Jets who went for Adam Gase.

On the other hand, Ben Volin, of the Boston Globe interview on 790 in South Florida this evening, said Flores is well-liked by his players and if anything, he called the special DB package-Malcom Butler onto the field to win the Patriots the Super Bowl-a play that will live in infamy for Seahawks fans as the reason they lost the Super Bowl as Malcom Butler picked off a Russel Wilson pass rather than the Seahawks opting to run the ball on 3rd and goal inside the 5.

As the Dolphins finalize their decision, Flores is a rising star of football coach and could be a damn good one as long as he has the runway to succeed.

Bottom line, Chris Grier gets his choice on this hire and the potential selection of Flores could be the biggest one of his career as the GM of the Miami Dolphins as they “blow it all up” for future success.

(Photo credit: NESN)

Dolphins coaching search update: Dennis Allen on the radar

After the duo of VP Chris Grier and owner Steve Ross met today with Brian Flores in New England and later OC Eric Bieniemy in Kansas City, the executive jet is headed for New Orleans.

Per various reports: Armando Salguero-talked of a mystery candidate and it’s guess who?

Dennis Allen.

The last time Dolphins fans got a good look at Dennis Allen was not only during the 2017 season where Jay Cutler served up a poorly thrown fade to Julius Thomas for a red zone interception.

Allen is the current defensive coordinator in New Orleans and his team earned a first round bye.

Allen’s coaching tree is actually quite interesting.

While as a GA for three seasons at his alma mater Texas A&M, he coached defensive backs and leveraged his way to his first gig with Dan Reeves of the Atlanta Falcons in the late 90s.

Allen has coached for Dan Reeves, John Fox, and now Sean Payton (twice).

What’s more, Allen as a defensive assistant earned a Super Bowl ring in 2010.

After coaching with John Fox as a defensive coordinator, Allen left for the rival Oakland Raiders as Reggie McKenzie was rebuilding the Silver and Black.

Said Allen after some time after his hiring in 2012 to Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle:

“It’s an exciting opportunity for all of us that are involved. To take over such a historic program, be a part of that tradition there with the Raiders, is obviously exciting for all of us. We’re excited about the opportunity to put our stamp on the program.”

Allen if you remember went 4-12 in season one with a gutted roster (Matt McGloin and Terrelle Pryor) at QB, as the Raiders were in salary cap hell, 4-12 year 2, and then 0-4 before owner Mark Davis pulled the plug on the Dennis Allen era never seeing what Allen could do with a healthy and later seasoned Derek Carr.

Allen was promptly fired after the Dolphins beat the Raiders in London: 38-14.

To Dolphins fans, this was a big win and a win that got Dolphins fans to rally around Ryan Tannehill after Philbin threatened to bench him.

Perhaps looking at Dennis Allen could give a glimpse into the future of what a losing season with a gutted roster looks like and maybe that serves as a cautionary tale in the #TankforTua campaign.

As we look at where this coaching search is turning, Allen becomes the second coach with head coaching experience and is not a first year head coach in the NFL.

Both Mike Munchak and Dennis Allen we’re fired by their respective teams after some tough losses and issues with management, but at this point the Dolphins search will continue to find their next head coach.

What’s most interesting about the Dolphins search, former head coach Adam Gase heads to Green Bay now to interview with the Packers after having had meetings with the Jets and Cardinals.

Gase, continues to garner interest as the “QB guru.”

Is there a coach on the Dolphins list more qualified than Gase?

The answer is no and not yet.

Perhaps a Harbaugh or two appears on the Dolphins list officially or unofficially.

This much is known: in two days the Dolphins will have interviewed 4 coaches with Vic Fangio (Bears DC), Kris Richard (Cowboys DB and passing game coordinator) and finally Dolphins Assistant Head coach and special teams Coordinator Darren Rizzi and OL coach Mike Munchak on the horizon.

Photo credit: Miami Herald

Is Adam Gase coaching in his final games for the Dolphins?

As we look back on the past three seasons, Adam Gase celebrating wins, mainly at home have been more of a common occurrence.

The Dolphins in the latter half of the Gase era have been woefully bad in 2018 going 1-6 on the road.

The Dolphins are now 7-7 after yet another road loss.

While the coaching position in Miami is tenuous at best with owner Stephen Ross still evaluating and not making a decision on his coach and front office, the Dolphins aren’t the same as the 2016 team who largely seemed unfazed in each and every matchup winning every game in November and losing two games in December to finish with a 10-6 record.

This Dolphin team who was picked to finish with 3 or 5 losses depending on the pre-season predictions, has seven wins with several players placed on IR.

So the question remains: should Adam Gase be the coach in 2019?

For one, the Dolphins have suffered setbacks greatly with injuries, but Gase has always been about a “next man up” mentality.

The Dolphins are constantly unraveling in the closing seconds and the only big and notable win has been Miami Miracle finish versus the Patriots two weeks ago.

As of now, the Dolphins have more wins by less than a touchdown than any team in the NFL.

It’s like they crave the big moments, but cave when they matter with both an offensive and defensive lapse with the special teams unit started to show wear.

And, these poor starts and poor performances beg the question that are greater than Ryan Tannehill who plays not to lose or is placed in a position that sets him up for failure.

So, is Gase safe?

Here are my thoughts and they are my own:

Adam Gase took the job knowing full-well he was going to have to “fix” Tannehill.

In my opinion, there wasn’t a ton to fix except for his awareness and deep ball.

Furthermore, Tannehill seemed to be rising in spite of his aggressiveness leading to interceptions.

Tannehill’s footwork before his ACL injury in 2016 was phenomenal in that he would step into his throws.

This season, Tannehill was supposed to take the next step with this offense with this offense and with Gase as the offensive genius.

A shoulder capsule injury as well as some general knee soreness has kept him from being the athletic Tannehill to a more immobile player who has regressed to the 2015 version of Tannehill lacking confidence and taking some bad sacks.

Is that Gase’s fault?

Yes. It’s his fault entirely because he failed to draft the QB and went with guys he knew-Brock Osweiler and David Fales.

However, Adam Gase, if the source’s account supplied by Matthew Cannata of the Phinsider shared via Twitter is correct, Gase pounded the table about a QB and wasn’t listened to.

This idea makes sense especially with Stephen Ross privately sharing he wanted a QB in round 1 instead of drafting defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick.

Ross has been very very silent about his wishes, but he will soon speak and it won’t be prompted by an emotional decision as he has in the past with both Sparano and Philbin.

Then there has been the media’s flirtation with connecting Jim Harbaugh, the current head coach of Michigan and Steve Ross and the Dolphins.

It’s like Ross is the puppet master that lured Harbaugh to Michigan and could welcome him to Miami.

While anything is possible, here’s what I suggest:

Adam Gase comes back under these circumstances:

1. He agrees to handover the play calling duties to an OC such as Dowell Loggains.

2. He hires a superior Defensive coach: maybe bring back Vance Joseph if he’s fired by Denver? Vance might be better than current DC Matt Burke, but we’ll see.

3. He agrees to the hiring of a new GM and a new power structure- new football ops

If Gase can agree to these conditions, I say he stays and he probably earns the token extension to prove himself another year.

While Gase is a great locker room coach, perhaps too much of a players coach, but he’s had issues and personality conflicts with unsavory characters such as Jay Ajayi (Super Bowl champ with the Eagles), Jarvis Landry (has helped the Browns play winning football), Ndamukong Suh (big role with the LA Rams) and Mike Pouncey (going to the playoffs with the Chargers).

If the Dolphins lose the next two games, Gase is good as gone, but if the Dolphins fight, Ross will see he has a guy that’s willing to fight for his job and willing to do what it takes to continue as coach of the Miami Dolphins.

This much is known, Stephen Ross is the owner and he makes the final decision.

Photo Credit (Palm Beach Post)