Brian Flores Proves A Point With Win

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Ray Burton
Ray writes mostly in-depth analytical pieces covering a range of sports from a more statistical perspective drawing his inspiration from the fanalytics movement. Ray is a fan of all sports, but mostly the NFL (Dolphins), Premier League (Man Utd), MLB (Mariners), NHL (Ducks), NBA (Heat) and NRL (Warriors) and motorsports. Usually to be found in front of the TV or in a stadium somewhere cheering on one of his teams. Never short of an opinion Ray is always ready to talk sports and is a co-founder of Lazy Fan Sports.

First-year head coach Brian Flores wasn’t playing around when he said the Dolphins wanted to win. As the much-hated Jets came to Miami, Flores finally got to make his point with a well-coached, and passionate team that played all 60 minutes and came away with their first win of the season.

For all the talk of tanking for Tua, and playing to be the worst team in NFL history, it has been evident for the last few weeks that this was a coaching staff that was desperate to win a game. And it finally came in week nine with a 26-18 victory.

Coach Flo and Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross celebrate win © Miami Dolphins
Coach Flo and Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross celebrate win © Miami Dolphins

Getting Closer

After having leads in Buffalo, and Pittsburgh, the Dolphins were looking to make a statement as they returned home against the Jets. Now coached by ex-Dolphin head coach Adam Gase, the Jets are struggling through issues of their own. With numerous starters on injured reserve, and a coach that once again doesn’t seem to know how to get the best out of his players, the Jets were ideal fodder.

Much improved in those previous two-games, the Dolphins came out slow against the Jets trailing 7-0 early, and entering the second quarter still seeking their first points. However, a three-TD performance for Ryan Fitzpatrick in the second put the Dolphins ahead for good.

Bizarre Spells

That’s not to say there haven’t been bad spells, and bizarre spells this season. And this game was no exception. With a 21-7 lead and the ball with under one minute to go in the first half, the Dolphins conspired to give up five points before the break.

This time, unlike in Pittsburgh, it didn’t derail the team in the second half.

There has been a lot of talk about how those bizarre moments happened. Tanking they said. Clearly not. Flores has been nothing but a passionate and professional head coach.

And while the media and many of his own fans didn’t believe in him to win games, Brian Flores was determined to win. Do the Dolphins want the first pick in the draft? Probably. Is it the sole purpose of this season? Definitely not. And this win proved that emphatically.

To believe that this team wanted to be the worst team in NFL history was always a ridiculous notion. Were they ripping the roster up and starting again? Absolutely. But to think they weren’t evaluating the head coach was silly. To think they don’t want to see progression and development from the players was assinine and overly simplistic.

As everyone from players to coaches to owner Stephen Ross celebrated this win, it was 100% clear that this team wasn’t trying to lose. When coach Flo talked about thinking about his mother as he walked across the field at the end, it was clear that he is a passionate coach, who will win more games, and will try to do that next week, and every week until the end of the season.

For Brian Flores, this was a deeply meaningful and personal triumph, and one that showed just how badly he wanted to win and succeed. He wasn’t tanking. He wasn’t trying to lose. He knows it’s about the team, not an individual player.

Brian Flores Celebrates With His Team © Miami Dolphins
Brian Flores Celebrates With His Team © Miami Dolphins

Who Cares If It’s Tua

We learned something valuable on Sunday, that Brian Flores just might be the coach we’ve been waiting for. It’s still early but for those paying attention to the games, and not just hoping to draft a certain playing, the signs are getting stronger each week.

And while some fans may be desperate for Tua to join the Dolphins, his injuries are a concern. No one man can make this team a contender. If you think a number one QB is the only way to win a Superbowl then you’ve clearly not been paying attention.

This century 11 quarterbacks have won the Superbowl. Of those five weren’t even selected in the first round and only two were number one overall picks, and both of those were named Manning.

So it may be Tua, it may be Fromm or Burrows. Or it may not even be a QB at all, with Chase Young the consensus best player available.

But if you’re one of those who wanted Tua, and were chanting “Trust The Process” and are now disappointed remember one thing: This is the process. And the process doesn’t revolve around one player.

It revolves around the team.

It revolves around the Miami Dolphins.

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