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Unpopular Opinion: The Miami Dolphins made the right decision when firing former head coach, Brian Flores

Baltimore Ravens v Miami Dolphins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins were right to fire former head coach, Brian Flores.

A head coach’s job isn’t relegated to just X’s and O’s. That’s what you have coordinators for – and as an aside, Brian Flores wasn’t able to consistently surround himself with quality assistants, but that’s a discussion for another day.

A head coach is a manager of men – a manager of all of the different personalities that those men possess. A head coach must be able to connect with his players, modifying his approach based on each individual’s needs and learning style. How do I know this? Well, I’m a head coach myself. I coach wrestling at the Black and Brave Wrestling Academy – one of the most highly respected wrestling schools in the world.

At my gym, we have students from all parts of the world. Each young man or woman is unique in their own special way. Each learns differently. Each responds differently to various coaching styles. Some respond well to a tough and aggressive style, some do not. Some need a gentler approach, but that’s not to say they need to be babied, just that they shut down or become stubborn, even defiant, when yelled at. You need to be able to recognize who those people are and adjust your coaching style based on the individual you’re speaking with if you want to be able to maximize each person’s talent.

That’s life. That’s how this works. It’s not 1972 anymore. People have changed – society has changed – whether you like it or not. No matter how much some folks would love to go back to a time and place where you can just yell and scream and get your way no matter what because, “I’m the boss!” it just doesn’t work like that in 2022.

Brian Flores learned that the hard way. His inability to manage relationships with players, coaches and administration staff around him ultimately led to his dismissal as head coach of the Miami Dolphins despite coaching the team to back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2002 and 2003. Maybe he’ll fix that at his next stop – New York, Chicago? But the fact remains, Brian Flores’ ability to coach the Dolphins to winning seasons wasn’t enough to overcome his abrasive attitude.

He ran highly drafted, and highly talented safety, Minkah Fitzpatrick, out of town, but that was just the beginning of the exodus of many within the Dolphins’ organization.

Minkah Fitzpatrick

Kenny Stills

Pat Flaherty

Dave DeGuglielmo

Chad O’Shea

Chan Gailey

Ereck Flowers

Kyle Van Noy

Benardrick McKinney

All of the men listed above allegedly had strained relationships with Brian Flores, and ultimately, they were not long as members of the Miami Dolphins team or staff.

George Godsey

DeVante Parker

Xavien Howard

Josh Boyer

Charlie Frye

Chris Grier

Tua Tagovailoa

The men in this second list outlasted the tenure of Brian Flores, yet it has been reported through various outlets that each man had his issues – with varying degrees of contention – with the former head coach. Flores’ strained relationship with Tua Tagovailoa has gotten the most coverage since the firing, yet when you look at how the young QB has been handled throughout his two years in Miami, you can clearly see why frustrations have been running high out of the Tagovailoa camp recently.

If Flores truly was a Justin Herbert guy, as Pro Football Talk has incessantly reported over the last few days, then it does make one wonder if Flores’ less than ideal treatment of Tua was a direct result of him not getting the quarterback he preferred. His infatuation with Deshaun Watson – and Watson’s infatuation with Flores – also has folks following the bread crumbs back to Flores possibly being the driving force for all of the Watson trade rumors that hung over the Dolphins like a dark cloud earlier this season.

Last, but certainly not least, are the reports that Brian Flores was “disrespectful” towards owner Stephen Ross. Whether you’re right or wrong, when trying to plead your case to your boss on any given issue, using disrespectful language is probably not something you want to do if you’re trying to keep your job. But again, Flores clearly doesn’t understand how to communicate effectively without letting his abrasive attitude rub people the wrong way.

When it came to on-the-field coaching, Brian Flores was good for Miami. While never getting the offense to where it needed to be, he still won plenty of games over the last couple of seasons due to his ability to build and coach a stifling defense. I wish Flores nothing but success at his next stop, and truly hope he’s able to learn how to manage relationships much better with those around him going forward. If he does, look out, because he could become one of the best coaches in the NFL. Unfortunately, that wont happen in Miami for the Dolphins.