New York Jets’ AFC East rivals make a shocking decision
The Miami Dolphins made the first surprising move of “Black Monday” by letting go of head coach Brian Flores.
Flores finished with a 24-25 record in Miami but was trending upward before being let go, earning a 19-14 record in his final two years. The Dolphins went 10-6 in 2020 and again ended above .500 in 2021, finishing 9-8 despite a 1-7 start, but they just missed out on the postseason in both years.
Miami’s defense was a routine headache for opponents under Flores. Based on points allowed per drive, Flores’ defense ranked fifth-best in 2020 and eighth-best in 2021.
It was Flores’ offense that failed to reach expectations.
The Dolphins’ offense achieved average rankings of 21st in points and 25th in yards over Flores’ three years in South Beach. The offensive line was particularly an issue, allowing a staggering 132 sacks across those three years.
Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has shown flashes in his first two seasons, but the struggling line has held him and the rest of the offense back.
Miami’s offensive woes have kept them from serious contention, and even though their issues seemed to be more of a product of poor roster construction than poor coaching, owner Stephen Ross chose to move on from Flores instead of general manager Chris Grier.
“I’m not going to be the person that takes Jim Harbaugh from the University of Michigan.”
Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross talks to media about Tua’s future, and if he has a coach in mind for their vacancy. pic.twitter.com/HpRHzX3zeY
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) January 10, 2022
Of the four coaches who have currently been fired after their 2021 seasons ended – Flores, Vic Fangio, Mike Zimmer, and Matt Nagy – Flores was the only one to end 2021 with a winning record.
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The Dolphins are now the sixth team with a head coach opening in 2022, joining the Jaguars, Raiders, Broncos, Vikings, and Bears. Flores will likely be a hot name amongst those other openings and should have no problem finding a new home.
As for the Dolphins themselves, Grier will likely play a major role in their search for their next coach, whoever that ends up becoming.