Can Flores & Grier Return the Dolphins to a Winning Culture?
With Tom Brady finally looking human and only the Buffalo Bills looking to have improved in the last season, the AFC East is wide open. Who is up to claim it? Dolphins fans are hopeful. But they always are. However, there is a reason to have some hope this year, and I believe the answers to that question are Head Coach Brian Flores and GM Chris Grier.
Bred in a winning culture?
Flores has been around winning football since 2004. The New England Patriots scooped him up as a scouting assistant, and he has worked his way up since. He has been exposed to the deepest of coaching strategies as some of the league’s most prestigious coordinators have come out of the Bill Belichick coaching tree. Names like Dean Pees, Bill Obrien, Romeo Crennel, Josh McDaniels (came back 2012) Matt Patricia and many others have dropped nuggets of knowledge off to Flores before moving on to head coaching jobs.
Flashes of fight?
We all saw the beatdown the Baltimore Ravens put on the Dolphins at the beginning of the season. I believe that learning experience was valuable for Flores, who was raised in a winning football culture. Sure, he caught a couple more beatdowns as the season went on, but there were some games like the Pittsburgh Steelers’ game that let the NFL world know what this team was capable of. Miami had Pittsburgh shook for a quarter, and a half (14-0) before Pitt even got on the board. It was only one first quarter and a half of flashiness, but the message was clear. You still have to do your homework when it comes to these Dolphins.
Week 17 showed a game of expectation and desire. The New England Patriots expected to beat the Dolphins and secure a first-round bye. However, the Dolphins desired the W more. 27-24 would have been a fair projection but the winner was a surprise. Was this a sign of things to come?
Flores was determined to turn this team into a winner. However, it doesn’t help when the front office was dealing away pieces of the franchise to other teams. Big pieces like Laremy Tunsil and Minkah Fitzpatrick were dealt away to the Steelers and Texans, but I believe the team got otherworldly compensation for these players.
I believe Chris Grier is looking at this year’s draft as a significant opportunity to build this team for the future. Having 14-total-picks should help with that plan. I am curious as to what those three first-round selections will be considering their team needs. It appears they require a QB, Edge Rusher, any Offensive-Linemen, and an RB.
I can’t believe I did not mention the cap space rolling into Free Agency. Grier is about to build a monster with $93M to play with.
I’ll probably be one of the first to say this, but if the Miami Dolphins play this offseason right, they will be in a position to take the AFC East Crown. The days of the South Beach dumpster fire might be over. Look out NFL.
Jermaine Lockett is a Writer and CEO for Couch Rider Report. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter