Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier was very active in free agency. The Dolphins brought in 10 players who are expected to be key contributors to the team’s success going forward, a few of which are considered stars at their positions who were highly sought after by multiple teams.
In fact, just last week I wrote on this site that center Ted Karras chose the Dolphins despite having a more lucrative offer from the New England Patriots on the table. How did Grier pull it off? What was he able to sell that no other team could in order to bring top tier players to town? The answer: Brian Flores.
Yesterday, media personnel had the opportunity to interview several Dolphins free agent acquisitions (over Zoom video chat to adhere to social distancing standards of course), and one theme seemed to be the common thread throughout all of the discussions: these guys are chomping at the bit to play for Flores.
Newly minted Dolphin and superstar cornerback Byron Jones answered a question about his first impression of Miami’s head coach. “I hear he’s intense. He likes to create competitive scenarios, competitive situations,” Jones explained. “It’s just something that I like and I want to be a part of. I heard a lot of great things about him throughout the league. I spoke to a couple of coaches [and] players throughout the whole process and they had nothing but good things to say about him. That’s exciting for me, just to be on a team that he’s leading.”
Super Bowl champion and former Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah had similar reasons for joining the Dolphins. “Once free agency started, the Dolphins were on me hard. Other teams wanted me too,” Ogbah began. “I just felt wanted by the Dolphins and I was excited to play for coach Flores.”
Prompted by the Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero to expand, Ogbah continued, “he inspires his players, and he came from the Patriots so he knows how to win. I’m just excited to come out here and do my part and help the team win, and I’m excited to get coached up by one of the best.”
Former Patriots linebacker Elandon Roberts, who is familiar with Flores given their time together in New England, also had nothing but great things to say about his former defensive coordinator and new head coach. “Knowing how good of a leader he is on and off the field, knowing how much he cares about you as a player, ultimately when you’re talking about a decision like that, to become a Miami Dolphin, I’m 100 percent all the way in.”
Linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who left the Patriots to join the Dolphins just one day before Roberts, was glowing about Flores as well. When asked what it was about Flores and the Dolphins that swayed Van Noy to sign with Miami, the newest Dolphins leader replied, “That’s an easy question to answer. I respect him as a coach, what he brings to the table, what he’s all about on the field and off [the field].”
Speaking to reporters over a Zoom video call, Van Noy continued, “as you guys have grown to know him a little bit better I feel like you guys are getting a sense of how he is as a person and as a coach, and you probably kind of wish you could play for him if you played football. Just the type of attitude he has, the grit he has, the competitiveness he has, I mean who doesn’t want to play for a coach like that?” Van Noy’s effusive comments over his now-head coach didn’t stop there. “He’s ready to go all the time, and he brings that same energy each and every day, and that’s what you want.... and as a player, that’s who I want to play for.”
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