Brian Flores: I wouldn’t disrespect the game by tanking

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In March, Dolphins head coach Brian Flores strongly rejected the notion that the Dolphins were punting on being competitive during the 2019 season while working to build a stronger team for future seasons.

When Flores made those comments, the Dolphins still had left tackle Laremy Tunsil, wide receiver Kenny Stills and linebacker Kiko Alonso on the roster. Miami traded all three of those players to other teams this weekend and the team’s roster has the look of one that’s built to lose now in hopes of winning later.

Flores hasn’t changed his talking points, however.

“This game means a lot to me,” Flores said, via Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald. “I wouldn’t disrespect the game with that. We’re not. We’re going to try to win every game. . . . We’re going come out, work hard, we’re going to fight. We’re going to play hard and try to win every game. That’s what you do. This team is motivated. We’ve got some talented players. We’re going to go out there and try to win every game.”

Players are certainly going to work hard because they’re going to want jobs in 2020 with the Dolphins or another NFL team, but teams that trade starting players in order to stockpile high picks in future drafts generally aren’t interested in results in the present. Flores obviously isn’t going to say that publicly or to the team privately, but neither he nor anyone else from the Dolphins needs to make any bold pronouncements to make it clear what the priority is in Miami right now.

65 responses to “Brian Flores: I wouldn’t disrespect the game by tanking

  1. They have the draft capital to move up pretty much from wherever to get to #1. Yes, less talented. But they have cleaned house and can focus on building. If they even go 8-8, they can land one of the top 2 picks with the picks they have. Or not. The flexibility is amazing right now.

    I don’t think Flores is even bending the truth a bit. Ground zero. Let’s go!

  2. In Flores we trust!

    We’ve been an awful team for the last 15 years, at this point another couple years doesn’t matter.
    How many more Tannehill 6-10 type seasons did we need to realize their was no future?

  3. Tanking in the NFL is tough and I know the “tank for tua” quote sounds nice, but if you have no team around him, you’re going to get your new qb killed. Qb has to come after years of tanking when you’ve built up talent at all of the other positions. It took the browns a decade to figure that out.

  4. Hate to break the news, but they’ve been tanking for the past 20+ years with no end game.

    Now, they’re actually rebuilding with a plan.

  5. He must still think he’s a Patriots coach…so destroying the Lphins (No D, no O) is a great move. Way to respect your fans, the team’s legacy and the integrity of the game.

  6. Someone is going to give you a boat load of picks and your team is slotted to take last you make the move. These guys played their best football.

  7. Tua won’t be as good as Matt Leinart. Phins have Rosen and need to play him to see if he can play. Can’t wait 6 years and keep hoping like they did with Tannehill.

  8. It’s funny how people misrepresent tanking. It’s often not because coaches coach to lose, it’s because the team trades away all of it’s talent for future picks. The team is not trying to win this year no matter how he would like to spin it.

    Flores will at most win 10 games combined over the next to years (which is pretty typical for coaches from the Belichek tree) so he needn’t worry about disappointing anyone.

    How long will it take owners to realize the Belichek magic starts and ends with Belichek himself. He’s gotten a bunch of overmatched assistants head coaching jobs.

  9. There’s a difference between building for the future and tanking. I don’t believe any HC is going to intentionally lose games by calling bad plays or whatever.

  10. He’s not tanking, he’s following the Belichick method where he wants all the players to be bought in and team players. That’s not going to be the case with a team that he just started leading. Some players won’t buy in, and he’s molding the team into what he wants. It might take a little bit, but it isn’t true tanking of just selling out for the future. It’s (hopefully) addition by attraction and with trades like the one to the texans, that’s amazing value for those players too.

  11. Won’t need to tank if they’ve no players to tank with, they can play their hearts out to go 4-12.

  12. I hate to give Seattle any credit, but Pete Carroll essentially turned over that entire roster within a couple years of being there and that turned out pretty good. I wouldn’t be too worried if I’m a Dolphins fan.

  13. There’s nothing contradictory with the team unloading talented players for future picks and rebuilding AND the coaches and players putting in 100% effort to winning. Inferior talent will lead to loses but that doesn’t translate to effort or decisions in the game being made to increase the chances of losing.

  14. Notice he said he wouldnt tank. However the GM and owner are a different story. The titanic went down slower than the Phins.

  15. yeah and the colts didnt tank for Luck. thats why they brought in the mighty carry kollins that year haha.

    look we all know your tanking and collecting picks and good for you. and we know you have to lie and say you arnt tanking. but we all know the truth.

  16. There’s not a professional football player on the planet with the exception of maybe Luck that would play to lose

  17. It’s not tanking when your roster is one of the worst in the league. Have to say, everytime this guy opens his mouth, I like him less and less.

  18. I don’t get the whole tanking thing. Seems like a big risk. What if Tua was to get injured this season.

  19. I get the feeling that Flores and Grier understand each other but aren’t on the same page. Flores doesn’t have any sort of credibility that is needed when tanking like this. There is nothing to suggest that Flores or Grier know what they are doing. I wouldn’t be too surprised if Flores lasted about 2 years before a move has to be made. Who is the guy really running things in Miami cause Flores is clueless.

  20. They’ve been awful forever might as well lose and get good picks. What the GM does with them is another question, can’t think of too many good young players on that team.

  21. I’m not sure how anyone turns down 2 1st rounders and a 2nd for an offensive tackle. Good move for Miami. Rosen will some and if he doesn’t get there Miami can probably scoop a top QB in the draft

  22. Hired to be fired? Perhaps. But the Dolphins got a straight up and smart guy for their rebuild. We’ll see. But the Pats model seems to be a good one.I have no doubt Flores will make the Dolphins a better team. If the owner stays out of it.

  23. Tanking is when a perennial playoff team Like the Colts suddenly goes 2-14 so they can draft Andrew Luck. The Dolphins are anything but a perennial playoff team. They’re rebuilding the roster the way the coach wants it to be. Big difference

  24. Brian Flores of the Dolphins: “I wouldn’t disrespect the game by tanking.” Dave Gentleman of the Giants: “We didn’t sign Odell Beckham to a long term deal to trade him away!” Any questions??

  25. Poor Fitzpatrick. Now I know why he won the competition even though I thought Rosen was better. Why put the franchise behind that line.

  26. Miami should use all those draft picks next year to build the offensive line and defensive line, then give Rosen a chance to see if he can be their quarterback of the future, if he isn’t then the following year move up and take Trevor Lawrence.

  27. Don’t forget that the Dolphins will also have around 140 million dollars worth of cap space next year to also help build the team

  28. I have zero problems with any of the moves so far with the exception of Tunsil and starting Fitz over Rosen. Alonzo lost the staring job to that guy from Canada. And Stills is a cancer. That new kid Preston will fill in for him just fine. Stills dropped too many balls. Should of started Rosen to see what he can do WITH Tunsil at LT. Now the OL is a travesty.
    Hope they know what they are doing. Building a team by stripping it down to nothing will take 4 seasons. Hope Ross and the fans are patient.

  29. tobynite, I think you nailed it.
    This whole rebuild plan is not about 2020 it’s about 2021.
    Let Rosen play this year and next. We’ll then find out what he’s made of.
    Use 2020 draft and FA to build the lines, or get Herbert or Fromm of they rise to the top.
    We have two #1’s and two #2’s in 2021 to get Lawrence if he was/is the target since the rebuild was initiated
    Someone at Dolphins HQ did hang a light at the end of the tunnel.

  30. Although we traded away some of our best players and are accumulating draft picks and probably will stink this year and next, we aren’t tanking…sure, I buy that

  31. He can coach his guys to play as hard as they can and construct great game plans… with their lack of talent, it’s not tanking. It’s just losing.

    The tanking was done by the front office.

  32. No one said he, specifically, is the one doing the tanking, but someone on that team is giving up the hope to win 5 games this season in the hopes to rebuild long-term.

    This team will be lucky to win 4 games this year. Will be interesting to see how long it takes them to get that first win… if they get that first win.

  33. If you’re not tanking then why trade away the only few good players Miami has? Why trade away your young QB’s only good WR & Blind side protector ho was a building block on that offense along w/ Rosen. From the outside looking in it looks like Rosen is being set up to fail so they can replace him with the QB they reallly want in the 2020 draft.

  34. Obviously there are two ways to tank:

    Have a good time and try to lose, or

    Have a terrible team that can’t win no matter what.

    Not that I disagree with the Dolphins approach – if they can draft decently in the next 2 years they can be a legit contender in short order.

  35. What did you expect the GM to do? They got rid of players, accumulated draft choices and improved their cap space situation. Miami must have had a cap space problem because after all they did they still have less cap space than Houston, 29.4 million vs 29.6 million. Sounds like a team trying to right itself.

  36. Like he has any choice in the matter at this point.

    I just think it’s funny that they’re tanking for a mediocre Mariota-esque QB. Wait and year for Lawrence and actually tank for someone who will make a difference.

  37. Does anyone on here really think Brian Flores actually has control over who Miami drafts, trades, or cuts. What first year coach wants to fail in his rookie season. He is in a true lose lose situation. If he wins 8 games the GM and owners will be mad, if he loses the fans will be unhappy. The only people who will be happy are the ones who hate anything that has to do with the Bilichick coaching tree.

  38. footballpat says:
    September 1, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    You can’t win the division or get to the Super Bowl until Brady and Belichick retire so you might as well build up those draft picks for 2025
    Exactly! By the time the Jets and Bills figure this one out playing at trying to replace the Pats and failing, Miami will be ready to. Because I hate to break it to Bills and Jets and even Dolphins fans: until Brady and perhaps BB retires, there is no point in thinking you are replacing the Pats.

    Oh, and for you Pats fans–when Brady retires, your so-called dynasty is not only over, it’ll never happen again and you will suck like Miami has after that happens. As with Miami never replacing Marino, the Pats will never replace Brady.

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