By: Jason Sarney
Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores took time to meet with the South Florida media on Thursday morning. Showing a terrific and unexpected glimpse into his personality, coach Flores sat with his usual stoic face and then shifted to a smile.
He then started to welcome numerous Miami beat writers by name, including a congratulations on the recent birth of a certain writer’s newborn daughter. This was a great touch of class and personality by coach Flores. He even knew the child’s name.
He then got down to business; Flores discussed the last few weeks of the Miami Dolphins’ evaluation process of 2020. "We did a deep dive across the board. Offense, defense, special teams. Operations. Scouting. Any and everything," Flores said. He added, "Chris Grier and his staff.... [the job they do] phenomenal."
Flores went on to discuss the recent meetings in planning for 2021, saying, “we had some really good dialogue and a lot of great meetings over the last couple of weeks. That is not specific to the draft, but also free agency.” He added, “It's been, a, busy time I would say,"
Flores also went on to name some coaching promotions, including the elevation of Danny Crossman to Assistant Head Coach, along with other new coordinators taking new roles. He officially named George Godsey and Eric Studesville co-offensive coordinators and praised their work.
"George has called plays in the past, and Eric, with Covid, we had to have a backup at every position, so Eric was prepared to call a game if something happened to Chan all year,” Flores detailed. In a sentence, when asked about the structure of their co-coordinator-ship Flores said, “definitely co-collaborative.”
The conversation shifted to Tua Tagovailoa, as Flores praised his second-year quarterback following his successful rookie year. In terms of Tua & being his guy, Flores said, “I am excited about Tua & this upcoming season. Coming off the hip, we threw him in the fire; he started 9 games & I thought he made a lot of improvement through the course of the season.”
He added he is excited for his year two jump, and referenced their lunch together Wednesday of this week, where they discussed football and family.
In a quick series of tidbits about the lunch, Flores said things like:
- "Development is about building relationships."
- "He's confident, I'm confident in him."
- "I'm looking forward to this offseason."
When pivoting back to free agency, draft talk and team building amidst an odd financial year with the 2021 $182.5 salary cap, Flores was pretty transparent about it.
"This is a very unique year.,” he said. “Very unique year, yea we do have some money from a cap standpoint that we can spend, but again, I mean, its, it's an interesting year." He then added a reference to a Rolling Stones song, " You Can't Always Get What You Want.” stating this multiple times with a near-smirk.
Although he did say, "You don't need 11 stars. You need 11 guys who will work together with one goal in mind."
He also alluded to the upcoming free agent market and the draft, stating, "We've scoured free agency, the draft...I think we have a pretty good feel of guys we are looking for." When specifically talking about the NFL Draft, there was a portion of an answer that resonated with me. Flores spoke about their current 3rd overall pick, and stated, "Any time you pick 3rd overall, there's a number of players, number of ways we can go. I think, our scouting staff, as I said earlier, has done a great job narrowing down who the top players are in this draft...we'll have the opportunity to grab one of them, say top 10."
Perhaps his context was in the confidence they will select a player who is a Top-10 player, possibly at #3, but this sounded like there is no marriage to the draft position at #3.
In finishing up a very upbeat and laid-back (compared to his demeanor in-season) conference, Flores showed a ton of personality, confidence and belief in this Miami Dolphins organization. He closed as a fun, yet more “on-brand” Coach Flo…
"It's great to see everyone. See you at training camp."