Second-year head coach Brian Flores has changed the Miami Dolphins. A team that has only had one playoff appearance and winning season since 2010 is now in the playoff hunt at 5-3. Flores has made an easy case for being the NFL Coach of the Year. Flores took over for the 2019 season after the Dolphins fired Adam Gase, but how did he become so successful.
Flores’s first season was an underwhelming one, finishing last in the AFC East at 5-11. Flores made a complete rebuild which included signing CB Byron Jones and drafting future QB Tua Tagavailoa. Flores came as the former LB coach of the New England Patriots, so his primary focus was bolstering his defense. The Dolphins’ defense was a weak spot in prior seasons; they are still struggling with yardage, but they are the 4th best defense in points against. The Dolphins also rank 4th in turnover differential with seven interceptions and seven fumbles.
Flores has used some smart trades to put his team into a good position for this year’s draft. Flores has possession of the Houston Texans first-round pick, which he got by trading Laremy Tunsil. The Texans’ pick is projected to be a top ten pick in the 2021 draft. The Dolphins are in a good position for the next few seasons with Flores at the helm.
As for this year, the Dolphins are a playoff contender. After last night’s game between the Titans and Colts, the Dolphins have slipped out of the final wildcard spot, but they are in the hunt to take a playoff spot by the end of the season. Miami has a fairly easy final stretch of the season, only playing three teams that are over .500 on the year. The Dolphins have an easy path to the playoffs, and if they continue to play well enough, they could win their division.