By HCR Staff | Sept. 14, 2019
The Miami Dolphins’ epic 59-10 Week 1 loss against the Baltimore Ravens has led to an entire week of second-guessing and strong criticism of Dolphins rookie head coach Brian Flores. Obviously, the loss was completely embarrassing and bordering on unprofessional, however, it is far too early to draw any reliable conclusions on Flores’ potential as a head coach. We feel he has tremendous potential, and we do not think it is reasonable to make a judgment on his tenure until at least three seasons have passed. Of course, he will be trying to win each week’s game, but the reality is, he is trying to build a program, and that is going to take some time. Here is a list of the key reasons why we believe it is only fair to reserve judgment on Flores.
- The Dolphins have been dysfunctional for a long time. The Dolphins did not get to this place by accident; the organization has struggled for a long time now. There has not been relative organizational calm in quite some time. Flores and rookie GM Chris Grier obviously feel the operation has to be completely rebuilt. They could be wrong…but they also could be right. We just have to give it time.
- The Dolphins have stockpiled high draft capital, and it appears the next couple drafts include generational talent. If Dolphin fans can endure the 2019 season, they may be celebrating in the seasons to come, as the Dolphins are well-positioned to take advantage of their tremendous draft capital and draft some of the brightest young football talent to come along in quite some time, led by Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence inspires the same kind of excitement that Andrew Luck inspired while he was performing at Stanford.
- Some of the best head coaches in history had rough starts too. Joe Gibbs started out 0-5. Bill Walsh was heavily criticized early on by football purists for throwing the ball so much. Bill Belichick was run out of Cleveland – he benched hometown hero quarterback Bernie Kosar, and used a top 10 draft selection on a fullback. Jimmy Johnson’s early Cowboys tenure was rocky. We could go on and on, but we think you get the picture. The bottom line is that we do not know enough information at this point.
The one area where we do have significant concern is the lack of experience that runs through all of the key members in the football operation. Flores is not the only rookie in this group. General Manager Chris Grier also is a rookie in his position, as are defensive coordinator Patrick Graham and offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea. Generally, we’d like to see a few more gray hairs in this group, but again, we cannot come to any quick judgments.
One thing we are focused on is whether the Dolphins continue to improve over the course of the season. Another thing we are interested in is watching Flores’ development as a game manager. Win or lose, we want to watch his judgment and decision-making under pressure.
Let’s give Flores and the rest of the football operation in Miami more time. Who knows, in three short years, early critics may regret their knee jerk reactions.