Dolphins Head Coach Brian Flores Updates the South Florida Media on Training Camp News and Covid-19 Protocols
By: Jason Sarney
A year ago, today, it was business as usual across the NFL as training camps across the country were in full stride and the only issues were things like roster cuts, cap space and player health. Well, that last element takes on an entirely new meaning in the year of Coronavirus.
In these unprecedented times, the 2020 NFL season and its training camp period has seen a remarkable and challenging hurdle, in what we as a people are facing together. The pandemic has placed all aspects of life on hold in some way, shape or form, and with the impact this disease can have on families, you have to sympathize with players who are choosing to “opt-out,” of this season on some other teams across the NFL.
On Wednesday morning, Miami Dolphins head coach, Brian Flores, addressed the South Florida media to discuss all topics from football to fighting this pandemic and using the proper protocols to handling this situation as best he and the team can.
While football professionals and fans would no doubt prefer to focus on roster moves, transactions and depth charts, unfortunately most of the conversation was with Covid-19 at the center of it all.
Coach Flores said, “with Covid, I think we try to create an environment that is as safe as possible.” He went on to credit Miami head trainer, Kyle Johnston, saying the protocols in the locker room and training room have been great.
“There has been a lot of changes at the facility. We have a new locker room. We have in-between the lockers."
Flores went on to state that he was communicating to his player that making good decisions and being responsible is key to limit the spread of this virus. Flores went on to add that it would be important for players to make sacrifices in the building and out of the building.
Flores realizes that the pandemic limits games and opportunity for players to compete, but he tells them to not worry about that aspect of this unusual year.
Flores says, “these are unprecedented circumstances”
In true leadership form, he said emphatically, “there is no point dwelling on lack of games or practices, we have to make the most of opportunity."
Specifically, on undrafted free agents, Flores said with inspiration in his tone, "every rep is going to be important. Every walk-tru rep, every practice rep."
On the football health front, it was recently announced that cornerback Xavien Howard would be placed on the PUP list to open training camp. Coach Flores updated the media on Howard’s status.
"X is on PUP." Flores added, “he will be back as soon as he can. I can’t put a timetable on that." He then said, “we are going to try to get him out there as soon as he can."
On a positive note, when asked if any players or coaches have opted out for 2020, he said, as of 10 minutes prior to the media session, no opt outs.
In terms of on field news, which is a relative term these days, Coach Flores talks about his young quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, and his health and practice status.
Flores stated that Tua is, “ready to go and you will see him out there.”
Yet, if this translates into competition, Flores kept a solid poker face, but was evident nothing is a guarantee one way or the other, and work will need to be done regardless.
When asked about the quarterback competition directly, Flores said, “you always want competition in training camp…every position is an open competition. Obviously, some players are further ahead than others, we all understand that.”
He then added regarding Tua and his development, "It’s a one day at a time approach.”
Overall, a health and Covid-19 protocol focused media session proved that even amidst this unfortunate hand we have all been dealt, Coach Flores is communicating his message the right way.
He is telling his staff and players to make the necessary sacrifices in and out of the building and to do their part to limit, and ultimately end the spread of this virus.
After-all, if anyone can emphasize this next statement strong enough, it is Miami’s wise beyond his years head coach, the undisputed leader of this team, Brian Flores….
“There is nothing more important than the health of the team”
You can follow Jason on Twitter @OrangeAquaman