New England Patriots defensive playcaller Brian Flores will lead the Miami Dolphins into a new era as their head coach, the team announced Monday.
Dolphins general manager Chris Grier, in charge of his first coaching search, sought someone who believed in some of his same methods on how to build a contender.
He decided on Flores, the 37-year-old Patriots de facto defensive coordinator who started his career the same way as Grier — as a New England scout. That Patriots connection likely played a significant role as the Dolphins seek a way to dethrone their longtime rival.
“Two things that stand out immediately when you meet Brian are his football intelligence and leadership skills,” Grier said in a statement. “Brian is widely respected throughout the NFL. He paid his dues in New England working in personnel, on offense, defense and special teams, which helped him build a great understanding of what it takes to win.
“If you talk with anyone who has played for him or worked with him, you will hear about his ability to lead and get the most out of people. Brian sets a high standard for his players and coaches and we are completely aligned with our vision on how to build a successful organization.”
Flores is also the first full-time minority coach in franchise history and one of four minority coaches currently in the NFL. He will replace Adam Gase, who was fired on Dec. 31. The New York Jets hired Gase as head coach 12 days later.
Flores takes over a team that seems headed for somewhat of a rebuild as owner Stephen Ross alluded to after firing Gase.
“We’re going to look to really build this organization based on our needs and if it takes a year or so — two years, three years,” Ross said. “We’re going to be there.”
That means Flores is expected to get the time needed to build the Dolphins culture and roster into a true contender. That will start with a decision at quarterback, as Ryan Tannehill’s future is in peril.
Flores has coached offense, defense and special teams along with a stint as a scout in New England. He has spent his entire coaching career — since 2004 — with the Patriots. He will have to defy the lack of success that has followed many Bill Belichick assistants when they leave for another head job.
Flores is the Dolphins’ 10th head coach (including interims) since 2004, and he will have to do what none of the others could — lead the Dolphins out of mediocrity.
Miami has finished between 6-10 and 10-6 in each of the last 10 seasons, the only team in the NFL to do that. It went 7-9 in 2018, losing its last three games by a score of 100-41.