Well, Brian Flores Is All the Rage.
Take your salivations for Byron Leftwich, Eric Bieniemy, Nathaniel Hackett, Brian Daboll, etc., and swallow.
With the stroke of a tweet announcing the termination of Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, the Minnesota Vikings eventual search for a new skipper became a lot more intriguing. The Vikings are suddenly in the market for a new general manager and head coach after the franchise terminated Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer on Monday.
Flores was not expected to hit the open market as the Dolphins are finally clawing out of an organizational rebuild. In the last two seasons, Miami’s record of 19-14 (.576) ranks 10th-best in NFL. Flores and the Dolphins finished 5-11 in 2019, but that was with a roster loudly professed as embedded in a transformational year.
Reversing the franchise’s fortune from 5-11 to 19-14 in two years is precisely what fans crave inside of a rebuild. Still, the Dolphins brass — for some reason — had seen enough, cutting ties with the 40-year-old Flores on Black Monday.
Miami gained national notoriety this season, becoming the first team in NFL history to lose seven straight games and win seven straight in the same year. Flores even garnered fringe Coach of the Year mentions. Those whispers evidently never reached ivory towers in South Beach.
So, the track record for an organizational facelift is attributed to Flores — to everyone except Miami’s ownership. And because of that, fans of the Vikings — and other HC-needy teams — decided Flores could be their number-one-with-a-bullet coaching candidate.
Flores is a product of the Bill Belichick coaching tree — a topiary varying in degrees of success. Since 2020, Flores seems like a head coach from the Belichick regime that has actually worked out, unlike Jim Schwartz, Bill O’Brien, and Matt Patricia (and more) in years past.
With the Patriots as an assistant, safeties coach, and linebackers coach, Flores accrued four Super Bowl rings. And the Vikings desperately crave one of those.
Hiring Flores in Minnesota at first feels a little odd as most pundits believe the Vikings coaching pendulum will swing to the offensive side of operations — after two stints with “defensive guys” in Leslie Frazier and Mike Zimmer. But Flores would stay the course for defensive continuity as his background, like Frazier and Zimmer, is defense, defense, and more defense.
However, Flores does fit the “youth” craving for Vikings fans. Onlookers to the team often watch coaches like Sean McVay or Kyle Shanahan and think, “I want that.” Well, Flores, although defensively-minded, would check the young box.
Foremost, though, Vikings ownership must hire a general manager. That will take at least a week, according to most theories. Then, if Flores hasn’t been scooped, Minnesota could interview the jettisoned Miami bossman. Based on roster talent, Flores would inherit a Vikings roster already more talented than Miami’s, if only by a whisker.
The Vikings and Dolphins play square off in the regular season next season.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).