It was just over a year ago when the football world was viewing the Dolphins as a historically bad team.
Now, Miami is on the verge of a playoff berth, and much of the credit can go to the franchise’s second-year head coach.
Brian Flores has led an impressive turnaround in South Beach. After an 0-7 start to the 2019 season, the Fins went 5-4 the rest of the way, suggesting the future was bright in Miami. Those expectations have come to fruition, as the Dolphins sit at 9-5 on the current campaign with two games remaining on their regular-season schedule.
History wasn’t on Flores’ side when he took the job in Miami. Members of the Bill Belichick coaching tree often flounder when they leave New England, especially as head coaches. While it’s still early in his tenure, it doesn’t appear as though Flores will be the next victim of this trend.
So, how has Flores managed to put the Dolphins ahead of schedule in their rebuild? Kyle Van Noy, who had Flores as a linebackers coach with the Patriots for three seasons, believes it comes down to the 39-year-old not trying to be somebody he isn’t.
“He’s not trying to be anybody else. He’s trying to be himself,” Van Noy said, per Sports Illustrated. “And I think that’s what you want. He’s going to give you love when you deserve it, but he’s also going to get after you when you deserve it as well. I feel like he’s doing a great job. I respect him. One thing that I’ve noticed is the way he handles himself from the top down. The way he takes care of the trainers, the training staff, the janitors, everybody to the owner. It’s nothing but first-class. He’s doing a great job, and he’s having a mentality you can’t teach.
“He’s got it.”
The Dolphins, who eliminated the Patriots from postseason contention Sunday, control their own destiny in their pursuit of reaching the playoffs. Should Miami qualify, it will mark only the third postseason berth for the franchise since 2002.