You hear the rumors and read the tweets. During the Super Bowl LIII broadcast Jim Nance announced this longtime New England Patriots assistant would be declared the Miami Dolphins head coach the next day.
Twenty-four hours later the Dolphins made it official hiring Patriots defensive play-caller Brian Flores as their head coach, the team announced Monday.
Flores padded his resume before the official announcement. He called the plays for a Patriots defense that held Sean McVay’s Los Angeles Rams to just three points in Super Bowl LIII, tied for fewest in Super Bowl history, and 260 total yards.
Flores a four-time Super Bowl champion with the Patriots while on the coaching staff was signed to a five-year deal, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Of the eight new head coaches hired this winter in the NFL, Flores was the only one to receive five fully guaranteed years, according to the source.
Flores does not have head coaching experience however newly promoted Dolphins general manager Chris Grier had his eye on Flores after the firing of Adam Gase on Dec. 31. When the Dolphins decided on Flores, they had to wait until New England’s season ended to complete an agreement.
“It has been a whirlwind 24 hours,” Flores said at his first news conference.
Flores becomes the first full-time minority coach in Dolphins’ history and one of four minority coaches currently in the NFL. He takes over a team that looks to rebuild again; it will not be easy.
The Dolphins started the season on a very positive note the first quarter of the season going 3-1 in September. Miami finished 7-9, losing its last three games by a concerning combined score of 100-41.
The Dolphins allowed 6,257 yards this past season, 29th in the NFL and the most in franchise history. The offense finished 31st overall.
“We’re going to look to really build this organization based on our needs and if it takes a year or so — two years, three years — we are going to be there.” Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross said.
The Dolphins make me cry and the tears may continue. Flores is the Dolphins’ 10th head coach (including interims) since 2004.
Flores has wasted no time in getting his coaching staff together even during the preparation of the Super Bowl. Flores hired former Colts and Lions head coach Jim Caldwell as assistant head coach, Patriots receivers coach Chad O’Shea as offensive coordinator and Packers assistant Patrick Graham as defensive coordinator.
“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,” Grier said in a statement. “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.”
The Dolphins as an organization need Flores more than he needed them.
He wasn’t in a rush to become a head coach. Moreover had an excellent job in New England.
With all the pieces scattered all over the place, Flores will need to piece together the quarterback position. He has so many positives parts on the defensive side however the decision made on his starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill will be his first defining one. Tannehill’s future as a Dolphin does not look promising.
In attendance for Flores’ press conference was the last quarterback to lead Miami to a Super Bowl, Dan Marino, in 1984, and the last quarterback to help the Dolphins win one, Bob Griese, in 1973. Though defensive minded Flores is the right choice for the Dolphins, he is a coach who can build a caliber quarterback from key foundational points for the success he witnessed from Tom Brady, who with the help of Flores is now a six-time Super Bowl champion.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.