Brian Flores knew this wasn’t going to be easy, especially after the Dolphins made the organizational decision on a complete tear-down and future rebuild of a team that has been to the playoffs just twice since 2001. In fact, he’s still waiting for his first victory as a head coach.
But the former Patriots defensive coordinator remains undeterred and believes things eventually will fall into place. In the meantime, he’s not feeling sorry for himself.
“It’s hard for me to have any complaints,” said Flores, whose team is 0-7 heading into Sunday’s game against the Jets at Hard Rock Stadium in South Florida. “This is a dream come true for me. This job is something I’ve worked towards for a long time. Any adversity, any tough times, that’s just part of the process for being in this organization and there’s no heartache or anger. I’m not going to make any excuses. I’m not going to point fingers or place blame. We’re just going to come to work every day, play hard and compete. This team is a reflection of me. I think it will turn at some point.”
Flores, 38, came to the Dolphins after spending the previous 15 seasons with the Patriots, starting as a scouting assistant in 2004 and working his way up to linebackers coach from 2016-18. Along the way, he got to work with some of the best coaches and scouts in the business, up to and including Bill Belichick.
“I was very fortunate to be around Bill, but I was also fortunate to be around a lot of coaches — Scar (Dante Scarnecchia), Josh McDaniels, Ivan Fears, Billy O’Brien, Scott O’Brien, Matt Patricia, Romeo Crennel, Scott Pioli, Charlie Weis, Thomas Dimitroff,” said Flores, who grew up in Brooklyn, attended Poly Prep High School and played linebacker at Boston College. “I tried to be a sponge when I was there, and I took a little bit from everyone. Each one of those guys I can call on if I have a question or just want to bounce some things off.
“I also think back to my high school coach, my college coach, and my Pop Warner coaches,” he said. “I’ve been lucky to have a lot of great mentors who have helped me along the way.”
The Dolphins likely will be in position to draft a top quarterback next season, and they’ve stockpiled draft picks through several trades. Flores is confident things will get better. It’s simply a matter of when, not if.
“Every week, regardless of the outcome, they come into work,” he said. “These guys are motivated, they work hard at meetings and practice and walkthrough. At the end of the day, that’s all I can ask. We’ve got a good process and we go about that process every week and let the chips fall where they may.”