The Miami Dolphins’ decision to part ways with Brian Flores this past offseason had major implications for the franchise and NFL as a whole.
When the move was originally made, one of the factors said to have played a role in it was Flores’ rapidly deteriorating relationship with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Specifically, Flores brutal honesty regarding Tagovailoa always stood out, as did his response to his own players openly blasting the young passer in the media. From the outside, at least, the connection there between player and coach did not look like a strong one.
This week, during an appearance on I AM ATHLETE, Flores got brutally honest about the perceived beef that existed between him and his former Dolphins quarterback.
“This is an interesting topic, because it wasn’t strained,” he said.
“We had a good relationship. It was a player-coach relationship. I think in a relationship like that, you know, the coach challenges the player. And oftentimes the player challenges the coach. And I think there was a great deal of respect between the two of us.
“So you hear these crazy kind of — this narrative that’s out there. But this is a young man who works, who developed and got better over two years and, you know, I think he’s got, you know, a bright future. I wish him all the best.”
Flores is in the midst of a massive war against the NFL right now, so he can be forgiven for a bit of revisionist history when it comes to his back-and-forths with Tagovailoa. That said, it’s hard not to feel like he is painting their relationship in a slightly overly-rosy light after the fact.
The tweets speak for themselves. https://t.co/5shoQKynQF
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 21, 2022
Of course, the Dolphins did finish 9-8 this past year after getting off to a 1-7 start, and Tagovailoa has amassed 4,467 yards, 27 touchdowns and 15 interceptions over the course of his 23 games – so maybe he and Flores really were working things out.
Either way, it will be interesting to see where all parties involved go from here. If Tagovailoa enjoys success post-Flores, it will not reflect well on the now-former head coach. Should he continue down the same path he has been on, then maybe Flores was right about him.