Brian Flores makes late case for coach of the year

Kansas City Chiefs v Miami Dolphins
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Last week, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski had the inside track to coach of the year. Then, the Browns lost to the Jets.

The night before Cleveland fell to 10-5 and had its playoff chances shrink, the Dolphins enjoyed something close to divine intervention in the City of Sin. But even though luck had plenty to do with Miami’s last-second win over the Raiders, Dolphins coach Brian Flores once again proved that he knows his roster, and that he knows when and how to deploy, and un-deploy, its various pieces.

Flores flipped the switch on the quarterback position at the perfect time, removing rookie Tua Tagovailoa and inserting veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick. The man who looks more like Civil War re-enacter than NFL quarterback made it happen, sparking the offense and securing the victory. Immediately after the game, Flores remained resolute: Tua will start in Week 17.

Although plenty of credit should go to Tua for not complaining about being benched and to Fitzpatrick for not politicking to start, the man holding it all together is Flores. The respect he has earned from his players keeps them from doing or saying anything, on or off the record, to disrupt the broader plan.

Although coach of the year is award only for the current year, Flores gets unofficial bonus points for the dramatic turnaround over which he has presided in his short time with Miami. He already has made the team into a contender, and the Dolphins now stand on the brink of the playoffs.

If the Dolphins get there, Flores becomes a finalist for coach of the year. If the Browns don’t make it, Flores arguably becomes the no-brainer No. 1 choice.

13 responses to “Brian Flores makes late case for coach of the year

  1. Flores is doing a marvelous job. I am glad for him. It is also worth bonus points that he is a great ethnic match for Miami. He has managed his roster well. He has pulled over a number of good players who have exceptional work ethics. The culture change has been big. Tua and Fitz have been class acts on the role reversals. That helps a lot. When your most important players buy in to the “wins are what matters” it helps a lot. But he got them there.

  2. Also, netting what they did with the Tunsil trade should be even more bonus points.

    We have the 3rd pick in the freaking draft, pick 36 and starting LT Austin Jackson.

    You land Sewell to pair with Jackson and the bonus player at 36…..and not pay Tunsil 20 mill.

    They laughed at his takes no talent wall.

  3. I don’t see how you’re saying making a late case. He’s been doing it all year in Miami, is over a year ahead of where any analyst thought they’d be with 10 wins. His defense is one of the top three in the league, has more turnovers and is one if the least penalized. Contrast that to where they were two years ago with that walking dumpster fire Gase.

    No coach has done a better job than Brian Flores this year.

  4. I doubt Stefanski was leading Flores in the mind of voters. Miami is the surprise; not the Browns.

  5. I just do not get the media negativity about changing quarterbacks the way Flores has done. Tua is a rookie being developed during the aberration of a pandemic season. There was not enough time for Tua to develop continuity with receivers or to master the offense as Fitzpatrick has. However what Flores does realize is that the relief pitcher (Ryan Fitzpatrick) throws interceptions when playing better teams. Ryan’s body of work is not promising for getting into the post season. Moreover Ryan was a bit lucky when completing a long pass setting up the win while getting his face mask pulled. Tua has to wait longer for the larger receivers like Parker and others to get open. Smaller quick receivers like Lynn Bowden Jr. get open more quickly. I suspect Miami will be drafting more receivers like Bowden. Both Tua and the Offensive Coordinator Chan Gailey have to be more aggressive to put up better offensive numbers. Brian Flores has certainly shown why he should be awarded NFL coach of the year.

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