The Miami Dolphins lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football last night despite jumping out to a 14-0 lead. After those two early touchdowns, however, the Dolphins could not find that same rhythm and the Steelers came back to win 27-14. The second half was particularly ugly for Miami, and the team simply never looked right in the second 30 minutes.
After the game, Monday Night Football commentator Booger McFarland joined ESPN SportsCenter host Scott Van Pelt to discuss the game. When it turned to Miami, Van Pelt focused on the idea of the Dolphins being professionals throughout the rest of the season.
“I crushed Miami early this year for what I thought was just an absence of effort,” Van Pelt said in his lead up to asking Booger about the Dolphins. “They had a lead tonight, in the end they lost by double digits, but, as you watched them in person, we know they are challenged in terms of talent and they are stockpiling draft picks, you have to be a pro for the rest of this year. Did you get a sense this is a Miami team that is going to show up and work and attempt to try to do whatever they can to be professional when the whistle blows and the 60 minutes are on the clock?”
McFarland replied, “I do, because of one person, and that’s the head coach, Brian Flores. You know, Scott, I sat down with him yesterday, and I had never met him, and I walked out of the room and I was blown away because of his attention to detail. He talked about how he grew up and how he had to fight for everything he had and sometimes you get knocked down. He told his team a story about when he had a fight, and he got hit in the mouth and he got knocked down. Football is the same way, you are going to get knocked down, it’s not if but when, and it is how you get back up.
“He is bringing everything he learned from other coaches, Belichick, and Bill O’Brien, and Josh McDaniel, and I could go on and on, but he is adding the Brooklyn tough, He’s from Brooklyn, he’s from New York. He grew up in one of the toughest neighborhoods that we have ever seen, and he’s taking that mentality and he is slowly putting it on his team,” McFarland continued.
“They may not look good right now. They aren’t winning. But they are fighting, Scott, and the last three weeks they fought, and they fought hard. It is going to break through, and, dare I say, when it does, it is going to look really good.”
McFarland then turned his attention to the front office, saying, “You also have to talk about Chris Grier. You know they have a GM who understands what he wants. He’s not going to be enamored by all the quarterbacks. Tank for Tua, Trevor. There’s a young man who, I think, is deserving of being one of the top players in the Draft at Ohio State, Chase Young. He sure would look good in a Miami Dolphins uniform. It is a long way to go before we get there, but my point being, they are going to build this the right way, with the offensive and defensive line, here in Miami.”
After a disappointing loss where it felt like Miami could keep up with the Steelers, only for them to walk deep into the quicksand and have no way to get out, McFarland saying he sees the Dolphins eventually looking really good is a bright spot. Now, Flores and Grier have to keep them together and moving forward. There is a plan and now they just need to stick with it and, hopefully, they will look really good sometime soon.