Brian Flores is well deserving to be considered the 2020 NFL coach of the year and there are many reasons why

Brian Flores for Coach Of The Year

February 4, 2019. That was the day Brian Flores was introduced as the new head coach of the Miami Dolphins. When you go back and rewatch the introductory press conference you can get a strong sense of the man he truly is. Fresh off a Super Bowl winning coaching performance Brian Flores was immediately tasked with repairing a team that had broken down. Coming off a 7-9 season the team had no direction and no true leadership. The identity of the Miami Dolphins had been lost.

The 2019 season was over before it even began. Miami jettisoned pro bowl left tackle Laremy Tunsil to the Texans, traded Ryan Tannehill to the Titans before the season began. Shipped Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Steelers, and sent Kenyan Drake to the Cardinals during the season. Many believed this team was “tanking.” Brian Flores was not tanking. He was not trying to lose games. He was instilling his identity into the team. A culture. And while his first season only ended with 5 wins, they won those 5 games in the last 9 weeks. The team played hard and fought for each other. They were the 4th least penalized team in the NFL, a stat that is usually synonymous with good coaching. Despite being arguably the worst roster in the entire league the Brian Flores led Miami Dolphins team finished the 2019 season with a huge week 17 victory over the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in Foxborough. A testament to how far the team had come in such a short period.

With a year of coaching under his belt and a team that had begun to buy into his program, the 2020 season came with expectations. Expectations to be a competitive football team. To win more than 5 games. To be in the hunt for the playoffs when the season neared its end. Miami doled out over $150 million in guaranteed money in free agency this offseason to go along with 11 draft picks including 5 in the top 60. Despite the influx of talent to the roster, Brian Flores knew that games aren’t won in March and April. There was plenty of work to be done.

Miami began the 2020 season 1-3. Not the start many of us fans were hoping for especially with key divisional losses vs the Tom Brady-less Patriots and the Buffalo Bills. Since the week 4 loss to Seattle however, Miami has rattled off 5 straight victories to improve their record to 6-3. That start is Miami’s best season start through 9 games since the 2001 season.

A 26 point victory over the defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers on the road.

24 point shutout over the helpless division rival New York Jets.

An 11 point victory over the Los Angeles Rams in a game where the offense only scored half of the team’s points.

A very impressive 3 point victory over the media darling Arizona Cardinals in a game where MVP candidate Kyler Murray amassed nearly 400 yards and 4 TD’s.

And an 8 point week 10 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers and Rookie of the Year favorite Justin Herbert.

Over that stretch, Brian Flores has out-coached Kyle Shanahan, Sean McVay, and Kliff Kingsbury. Miami boasts a 3-1 record vs the NFC West, which many believe to be the best division in the entire NFL. Miami has also given the Jaguars, 49ers, Rams, and Chargers their biggest losses of the season.

What do all of these victories have in common? Dominant defensive showings, elite special teams, and an efficient offense. During the current 5 game winning streak Miami’s defense has forced 13 sacks, 6 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles returned for touchdowns. Miami also had the only punt return for a touchdown in the NFL this season to go along with a blocked punt. These are complete team victories. A staple in a Brian Flores led the team. Flores is a leader of men. A man that believes in his program and the people around him to do their jobs. That is what a leader does.

This team now has an identity. They are a well-coached, smart, fundamentally sound team that holds each other accountable. Brian Flores has instilled a team-first family culture that so many successful teams have. This is a team that others want to play for. This is a family that picks each other up when they are down. This is a head coach that deserves to be not only in consideration for coach of the year but lead that discussion. What Flores has been able to do in 18 months is something organizations spend years and even decades trying to do, including these same Dolphins. Rejoice Dolphins fans. The time is coming and it isn’t very far away when we can say, “we have the best coach in the NFL.”