In a surprising move, the Miami Dolphins fired head coach Brian Flores. Their loss could be the Chicago Bears’ gain as they will interview him for their head coach position.
Well, Black Monday came and went and mouths were agape once again. Sure, struggling teams like the Chicago Bears made firings that weren’t surprising. However, as with nearly every Black Mondy event, there is always a surprise firing. This year, it was the Miami Dolphins firing their head coach, Brian Flores.
On the outside, it seemed that Flores was safe. After winning their first game the Dolphins lost seven straight games. Flores then turned things around. Miami went on a seven-game winning streak. They became the first team in NFL history to lose seven straight games and then win seven straight games.
The Dolphins ended up finishing 9-8 but failed to make the playoffs. They did, however, beat their hated rivals, the New England Patriots in the season finale. It kept New England from winning the AFC East division. Also, it was the first time the Dolphins swept the season series against the Patriots since 2000.
Miami finished with back-to-back seasons with a winning record for the first time since 2002-2003.
For some reason, however, it wasn’t enough for Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.
Miami’s loss is Chicago Bears’ gain?
After the NFL world recovered from the shocking firing, many analysts predicted that Flores would certainly find another job pretty quickly. They felt he’d have the pick of the litter.
The Chicago Bears pounced on the situation right away. They became the first team to schedule an interview with Flores.
So what happened that got Flores fired? Reportedly, he and general manager Chris Grier did not get along. It first started during last year’s draft. Flores wanted Miami to draft Justin Herbert at quarterback. Grier and Ross wanted Tua Tagovailoa and they won over.
Herbert was the Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2021 and this season finished second in passing yards with 5,014.
Despite not wanting Tua as his quarterback, Flores still did a pretty good job handling him. This season, Tua finished seventh in completion percentage (67.8 percent). That happened even though the Dolphins had one of the weakest offensive lines in the league.
Ironically, tensions between Ross/Grier and Flores increased because Flores defended Tua. The owner and general manager wanted to work out a trade for Deshaun Watson. Flores felt that bringing in Watson (who is under investigation for multiple sexual harassment accusations) would be a distraction.
Another thing that hurt Flores in the battle with Grier was Ross not being around. He doesn’t live or work in South Florida so he isn’t at the facility regularly. The only time Ross is really in Miami is during games. With Flores coaching on the field, Grier could have his ear and bond with the owner.
Flores is his own man and won’t change his ideals for anyone. In 2019, Ross wanted to tank for the number one pick. After a few early-season ugly losses, Flores got the team on track and won some games despite Grier trading talent away. The Dolphins ended up drafting fifth overall and chose Tua, one pick ahead of Herbert.
How Flores fits with the Bears
Flores is a no-nonsense man who expects everyone to do their jobs. He has a blue-collar work ethic that will certainly fit Chicago’s atmosphere. There is no concern for flashiness or acceptance of players who have the “Me, me, me” attitude.
Flores is intense and will let you know if he is not happy with you. It might rub some players the wrong way but, honestly, are those the type of players you really want on the team?
Flores will get the most out of his players. Looking at the roster in Miami and it was incredible that they had two winning seasons.
One area that Chicago Bears fans will love is how tough his defense plays. In 2020, the Dolphins ranked 6th in points allowed, second in passing touchdowns allowed, and first in turnovers forced. This is what Bears fans are used to seeing from their beloved team.
In 2021, injuries hurt the defense, though they still finished in the top ten in turnovers forced and passing touchdowns allowed.
Where does Flores need to improve?
Flores needs to surround himself with good assistants. He had a revolving door of offensive coordinators and that takes a toll on an offense. We saw how Jay Cutler fared when he had all of those offensive coordinators when he was throwing in Chicago.
The Bears have their franchise quarterback in Justin Fields so it is imperative that Flores finds the right person to develop him. FIelds has more tools than Tagovailoa has so Flores can do more. Part of the reason his completion percentage was so high was that they called a lot of short, high-percentage passes. Tua has trouble throwing the ball deep so Flores adjusted.
Some people consider Flores’ intensity to be a problem. He wants to win and doesn’t do well with others who slack off. Perhaps if he finds a way to tone down his disapproval it’ll be better. I’m not saying he has to completely change his emotions to get along. The intensity is something that helps some players. If he could understand what makes people tick a little better, however, it could go a long way to keeping the peace.
Or maybe he keeps everything intact. Many fans are clamoring for the Bears to hire Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh is the same way with the intensity. Though he has been with the University of Michigan for seven seasons, it’s the longest he’s ever been with a team. Before that, he hadn’t been with a team for more than four seasons. Maybe you deal with that a little better if a team wins games.
For Flores to succeed in Chicago he’ll have to find a staff of coaches he could trust. He didn’t have that in Miami and though he won games with inferior talent, he didn’t get a chance to take the team to higher levels.