A former prominent New England Patriots assistant coach is surprisingly now without a job.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Miami Dolphins are parting ways with head coach Brian Flores. Flores had just led the Dolphins to a 9-8 record — their second consecutive winning season and just their third since the 2009 season — and their first season sweep of the New England Patriots since 2000.
Flores was hired in 2019 as the Dolphins’ head coach. The former Patriots defensive assistant led the Dolphins on a seven-game win streak this season before Miami lost to the Tennessee Titans in Week 17. Miami threatened for playoff contention after a 1-7 start to the season.
Despite the Dolphins — an organization that has just four playoff appearances since 2000 — clinching back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2003, Miami will seek hiring their 14th head coach in the offseason.
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross released a statement following the surprising decision.
“I made a decision today to part ways with Brian Flores,” said Ross. “After evaluating where we are as an organization and what we need going forward to improve, I determined that key dynamics of our football organization weren’t functioning at a level I want it to be and felt that this decision was in the best interest of the Miami Dolphins. I believe we have a talented young roster in place and have the opportunity to be much better in 2022. I want to thank Brian for his hard work and wish him nothing but the best in his future.”
Flores made a name for himself as a top assistant for the Patriots from 2008 until 2018. He’ll now enter the coaching market as one of the hottest free agents available.
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Dolphins’ Decision Not Involved with Harbaugh
According to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington, the Dolphins’ decision to move on from Flores has nothing to do with the potential availability of Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh.
“While I realize many are assuming Flores’ departure is tied to Harbaugh’s potential availability, I can assure you that is not the case,” said Darlington. “The Dolphins are not targeting Jim Harbaugh, per sources. The decision to fire Flores is entirely independent.”
Harbaugh is emerging as a hot name among NFL coaching circles after his breakthrough season at the University of Michigan. Not only did Harbaugh lead the Wolverines to their first Big Ten title since 2004, he led Michigan to their first win over the Ohio State Buckeyes since 2011.
Patriots Quick to Move on Following Dolphins Loss
The Patriots were swept by the Dolphins for the first time since the 2000 season in their 33-24 loss to Miami in Week 18. However, New England will have to quickly move on as they prepare for a Wild Card matchup versus their AFC East rivals, the Buffalo Bills, next Saturday.
Via Tom Westerholm of Boston.com:
“It’s not over,” Brandon Bolden said. “There’s no reason to lay down and take anything. We have a lot to fight for. I know me personally, that’s how I’m approaching it. That’s how I’m going into next week.
“I’m not finished. Go into next week, going take it like it could be the last one, but I’m going to fight like hell to have more.”