It is officially the off-season for the Miami Dolphins as they once again miss their shot at the playoffs, and now need a new head coach. Owner Stephen Ross made a shocking move on Monday morning as he let go of coach Brian Flores after a 9-8 season, and one win away from the playoffs. Flores went 24-25 in his three years, and posted back-to-back winning seasons in Miami for the first time since 2002-2003. He took the job in 2018 where they went 5-11, and had one of the worst rosters in the league.
There are now reports coming out that Flores relationship with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa took an ugly turn in their Week 17 game against the Tennessee Titans. The Dolphins had to win their Week 17 and 18 games in order to make the playoffs. They were down 17-3 at halftime and were not getting anything going on offense. Flores reportedly got into a heated exchange with the quarterback, expressing they needed better play from him.
The decision to fire Flores can be summed up with one word: Relationships. His relationship with Grier and Tua had deteriorated to a pretty bad place. Along with constant staff changes, owner Steve Ross no longer saw Flores as a healthy fit in Miami. https://t.co/9oRmk66hm9
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) January 10, 2022
It sounds like Miami will roll with Tagovailoa again and try to build around him and give him a real shot. Flores was a defensive coach, so look for Miami to get an offensive minded coach for Tagovailoa to work with. Here are three potential candidates the Dolphins should be looking at as their new head coach.
Potential Miami Dolphins Head Coach Candidates
1. Brian Daboll – Bills OC
Daboll is one of the NFL’s sought-after coordinators and will have a lot of interest this year. Daboll joined the Bills in 2018 and ever since then, they’ve been one of the best teams in the league. It’s also important to note that Daboll was at Alabama during Tagovailoa’s freshman year in 2017 as the teams offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Miami has already reached out to Daboll for a interview, and was the first coach the Dolphins contacted after the Flores fire.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 11, 2022
If the Dolphins do end up hiring Daboll, Tagovailoa should get another opportunity with a coach he knows and respects.
2. Mike McDaniel – 49ers OC
This will be the second straight season the Dolphins have requested to interview McDaniel. He has been with the San Francisco 49ers since 2017 where he started out as the run game coordinator. He was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2020 as he is one of the best offensive minded coaches. In his first season as the 49ers offensive coordinator, they led the league for most yards a play (6.1) and finished seventh for most yards per game (375.7)
The Yale grad is Kyle Shanahan's longtime right-hand man and run-game guru.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 11, 2022
While 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan mostly calls the plays on Sundays, McDaniel has a massive part in the game plan. At just 38 years old, McDaniel would be one of the youngest head coaches in the league.
3. Nathaniel Hackett – Packers OC
Another offensive minded coach, Hackett was previously with the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2016-2018. He now serves as the Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator. Hackett was the offensive coordinator for the Jaguars when they were one win away from the Super Bowl in 2018 (remember that?). He’s been with the Packers since, and has gotten the NFC number one seed twice, and the number two seed. Obviously when you have Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams it makes life easier, but Hackett has proved that he can do it with a mediocre quarterback like Bortles was.
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