The Miami Dolphins officially announced Brian Flores as the 13th head coach in their franchise’s history. Flores held various roles for the New England Patriots between 2004-18, most recently as the de facto defensive coordinator. Flores won Super Bowls XXIX, XLIX, LI, and LIII with the Patriots
“Two things that stand out immediately when you meet Brian are his football intelligence and leadership skills,” Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said in a team statement. “Brian is widely respected throughout the NFL. He paid his dues in New England working in personnel, on offense, defense and special teams, which helped him build a great understanding of what it takes to win. If you talk with anyone who has played for him or worked with him, you will hear about his ability to lead and get the most out of people. Brian sets a high standard for his players and coaches and we are completely aligned with our vision on how to build a successful organization.”
I think the Dolphins have a good one in Flores, who has spent time in the Patriots’ front office, in addition to coaching the offense and special teams before settling in on defense. Every single player loves Flores and his ability to connect with his players, while also putting every player in position to succeed on the field.
Flores is expect to bring a host of former Patriots coaches with him down to Miami in order to establish a new culture. Patriots wide receivers coach Chad O’Shea is expected to be the offensive coordinator, while assistant quarterback coach Jerry Schuplinski should take on the full time position. Flores is also expected to reunite with former Patriots defensive coach Patrick Graham, who is likely to be the defensive coordinator, and former Patriots tight ends coach George Godsey, who is expected to have the same role in Miami.
This means that the Patriots will have some vacancies on offense, although they should be ready to fill them. DeMarcus Covington is currently in his second season as an offensive assistant and is a former wide receiver (his coaching experience is on the defensive side of the ball). Atif Austin just completed his first season, but I project him to eventually take over for Ivan Fears as a running backs coach, like I expect Cole Popovich to take over for Dante Scarnecchia.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Patriots will have to fill Flores’ old position as linebackers coach. Defensive assistants that could take on larger roles are Mike Pellegrino, in his fourth season with the team, and Brian Belichick, in his third season.
Bret Bielema, a consultant to the head coach, and former Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano are both in discussion to lead the New England defense, although Brendan Daly is considered the in-house favorite. I could see the Patriots shuffling their defensive coaching staff in a major way.
Congratulations to Brian Flores on the new job. It’s well earned.