Brian Flores has been in charge since the 2019 offseason. He was unveiled to the media just a day after being a huge part of the Patriots’ Super Bowl 53 triumph.
The Miami Dolphins have been a troubled franchise since the departure of Dan Marino and Don Shula. They have had 22 starting quarterbacks and 11 head coaches since both individuals left the franchise. Brian Flores will hope to bring some stability to both the head coach and quarterback position.
Here is why Brian Flores is the safest pair of hands the Dolphins have had since Shula.
The Hangover of Shula’s Departure
Don Shula is, without a doubt, the Dolphins’ best head coach and is one of the best ever to do it, with the most wins in the role in NFL history.
Miami has failed to replace him, with all of Shula’s predecessors achieving a combined 195-205 record as Dolphins head coach.
Since Shula’s last season in 1995, the Dolphins have also struggled to make the postseason. Shula oversaw 31 playoff games as Miami head coach. He won 17 and lost 14 and won 2 Super Bowls in the 25 years he spent in charge.
Since his last season, the Dolphins have played in just ten postseason games, winning 3 and losing 7 in the 26 years that have followed.
Jimmy Johnson came into the organization with many expectations after winning two Super Bowls as Dallas Cowboys head coach. However, the move didn’t work out. Instead, Johnson guided the Dolphins to the playoffs in three consecutive seasons. Despite this, he couldn’t get the team past the divisional round before eventually resigning due to apparent burnout.
Other head coaches have come in but have failed to live up to expectations, most notably current Alabama head coach Nick Saban.
What Could Have Been With Nick Saban
Saban came into the organization with plenty of expectations after his four-season stint with LSU, which included a National Championship.
However, the best Saban could achieve was a 9-7 record during the 2005 season. The 2006 offseason defined Saban’s time as Dolphins, with a decision at the quarterback position affecting the franchise for many years to come.
The Dolphins were looking for a new quarterback, and former San Diego Chargers QB Drew Brees was seen as the guy they would go for.
Doctors informed the Dolphins that Brees’ shoulder injury was too severe, allowing the Saints to acquire him. However, Miami instead went for former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper.
Brees went on to win Super Bowl 44 and break record after record in a Hall of Fame career. Culpepper played just four games for the Dolphins after falling out with Saban. He started just sixteen games across the three seasons after leaving the franchise, before retiring.
The Dolphins went 6-10 in the 2006 season before Saban accepted an offer in 2007 to go back to college and become the Alabama head coach. He has since won 6 National Championships and 7 SEC Championships with the Crimson Tide. He has a 261-65-1 overall record in college. What could have been?
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The 2010’s Horror Show and Hope Under Flores
Between 2010 and 2019 saw Miami’s largest period of mediocrity, with just one playoff game in the entire decade.
Despite winning the AFC East as Dolphins head coach in 2008, Tony Sparano and the Dolphins went 7-9 in 2010 and 4-9 in 2011 before being fired midseason.
Joe Philbin went 24-28 as head coach before being fired in 2015. New Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell took over and went 5-7 for the remainder of the season. The less said about Adam Gase, the better, despite being the first head coach to guide the Dolphins to the playoffs in eight seasons.
Flores has been a great addition as Dolphins head coach. He came into a tough situation in 2019, with changes going on throughout the roster. Miami went 0-7 before going 5-4 down the stretch. However, Flores was highly praised for the way he galvanized this team.
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) February 5, 2019
Flores is a leader and is someone that the majority of Dolphins fans have complete faith in.
When the Dolphins played the Cincinnati Bengals in 2020, Flores ran out on the field after a tackle on Jakeem Grant. This shows that he is willing to put it on the line for his players. Actions like this bring togetherness to the team. Players are now aware that their head coach is 100% behind them.
“Trust the process“ is a phrase that Flores has repeatedly referred to during his time as head coach. After a 10-6 record in 2020 and narrowly missing out on the postseason, it is safe to say that the process is a good one.