Life experiences can be humbling, at times those experiences force us to evaluate, if not, who we are and how we work.
The 2021 Miami Dolphins season is a must-have for coach Brian Flores as only his maturity will allow this franchise to reach its potential, moving away from the Dolphins’ mediocre merry-go-round for two decades.
At least under his leadership, which would likely result in another season being extended depending on how this season’s team finished (9-8). Sunday’s 33-24 season-ending win over the playoff-going New England Patriotsdistribute franchise Back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2002–03,
“Every experience you learn from them, good or bad. That’s how I try to approach everything. I learned this year about myself, about this team, about the players on our team, about our building. Learned a lot about people,” Flores said, speaking of the Dolphins team, which started 1-7 to win eight in the season finale. nine games.
“I think it will be time to reflect on it and see that there are definitely some things that I have learned,” said Flores, who has a 24-25 record as head coach. “I feel like I’ve grown up a little bit. Hopefully that’s the case for everyone.”
Miami’s victory over the Patriots – a game the Dolphins controlled from kickoff – produced New England’s first sweep of the franchise in 20 years, It also gave hope that Flores’ team could play with the big boys of the league’s playoff-bound teams after losing to the Tennessee Titans last week.
But the inconsistent play that plagued the Dolphins throughout the season, stable offense that scored 10 times less than 21 points, an erratic special team unit that caused more handicap than help in 2021 – were also his fault.
The team’s 1-7 start was on him because, as he often reminded the media, it was his responsibility to help this team maximize its potential and clean up its error-prone game.
Miami’s defense didn’t find its groove until midseason. That unit could not seal two games where they were given the lead in the first fourth quarter of the season.
And the offense never dropped out of third gear, and ended 2021 as one of the NFL’s worst in yard production and scoring.
Miami’s offense — with or without Tua Tagovailoa as the team’s starting quarterback — held this team back throughout the season, and he’s on Flores because he hired too many suspects.
If Flores doesn’t make some major changes to the aggressive coaching staff, it’s likely to ruin another season and everyone’s job.
Dolphins need a proven, sophisticated offensive coordinator. One with a track record of building efficient units that rank at the top of the league.
Flores needs to find an experienced offensive line coach to replace Lemuel Jeanpierre. Someone who can groom the youth of that unit and create an aggressive identity.
And position coaches should make the most of young talent like Tagovailoa, Preston Williams, Miles Gaskin, Salvone Ahmed, Hunter Long, youngsters who have not lived up to expectations this season.
No matter what Miami’s decision-makers do at the quarterback – Whether they stay with Tagovailoa or shipping draft picks to Green Bay, Seattle, Houston, San Francisco or Minnesota for a seasoned quarterback who is likely to hit the business market this off-season – Flores gets a better job than in the past. But have to keep three seasons.
And don’t expect it to be easy because the word around the league is that Flores is a difficult person to work for, and that has to be addressed by some introspection and personal growth on his part.
But there are signs of hope, such as how this team reacted to their 1-7 start, reflecting Flores’ focus and consistency, which served as a catalyst for relevance and respect for the rally.
This is how resilient, mentally tough teams handle their business and this is a reflection of Flores.
“Flow has done a great job of helping us stay together and not really worry about the outside noise and focus on the outside noise,” said Tagovailoa, who ended the season with a 90.1 passer rating. Did. “I think he’s done a great job helping us get to where we are this year. Obviously the first half wasn’t what we wanted or what we expected. But as I said, I am very happy with how we ended this season.
Now the question is, where does Flores’ team go from here?
Dolphins make better use of large parts of Miami Speed-setting $74 million in cap space To reconstruct the crime. And I won’t rule out a scorched-earth restart for that side of the ball.
Jaylen Waddle And Robert Hunt should be the only offensive player to consider buying rather than leasing as everyone else’s future should be uncertain based on the performance of that unit in 2021.
While most of the problems were a byproduct of offensive line struggles, turning to Duke Johnson to pursue the game at the end of the season is just a reminder of how bad decisions were made regarding talent assessment on that side of the ball. were go. off season.
Flores and dolphins cannot tolerate another off-season of poor decisions that provide a putrid product.