The Dolphins hired coach Brian Flores, who spent 11 years under Bill Belichick in New England. Flores, of course, has adopted some of the Patriot Way.
He also has acquired some of his former players.
Linebacker Kyle Van Noy became one of four ex-Patriots to join the Dolphins this offseason. He makes it clear, though, that the Dolphins plan to establish their own identity.
“I don’t now how many New England guys there are, but we’re going to get away from that,” Van Noy told Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald. “We’re our own team; this is not the New England Patriots. This is the Miami Dolphins. It’s totally different, and I’m excited for that. New beginnings.
“We’re the Miami Dolphins. We’re here to represent the people of Miami. They want it bad. I can sense that. Miami’s a football town.”
Dolphins fans are as excited as they have been in many years after free agency and the draft delivered some big names and new stars. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, the No. 5 overall choice, leads jersey sales in the month since the draft.
“I’m excited for the future in Miami,” Van Noy said. “It’s special. Miami’s growing. Seems to be thriving through the times we’re in and hopefully they continue to thrive.”
The Dolphins have made the postseason only twice the past 18 years, the last in 2016, and they haven’t won a playoff game since the 2000 season.