The Miami Dolphins are reportedly going to hire Brian Flores. If history is any indication, that marriage is going to end in disappointment.
Bill Belichick’s coaching tree is the biggest black mark on an otherwise sterling career. Yet teams return to well repeatedly, hoping to come away with the next great thing.
So far, Belichick’s time in New England has produced six head coaches. Should reports be accurate, Brian Flores is about to become the seventh with the Miami Dolphins once the Patriots’ season concludes.
Looking at the previous men to leave Foxborough with a top promotion, hiring anybody from Belichick’s tree is akin to hitting on 17.
So far, the grouping of Eric Mangini, Josh McDaniels, Romeo Crennel, Matt Patricia, Bill O’Brien and Mike Vrabel — Vrabel only played under Belichick — have coached for 19 seasons. They have four playoff appearances, and only O’Brien has a playoff win. That came against Connor Cook.
As for Flores specifically, he’s making the jump from linebackers coach to coordinator to head coach, all in the span of two years. This year, the Patriots rank 21st in yardage against and seventh in points. Flores hasn’t had much to work with in the front seven, though, trying to manufacture a pass rush without any elite talent.
Going to Miami, Flores will have myriad disadvantages. The Dolphins are moving on from Ryan Tannehill, leaving them without a franchise quarterback. Miami is also owned by Stephen Ross, who one source characterized as an absentee owner. Ross has never hired a head coach with prior experience since buying the team in 2008, largely because getting someone to believe in his program has been a chore.
Unfortunately, Flores will follow in that trend. Miami is a tough place to win for all the aforementioned reasons, and that struggle is compounded by learning on the job with little support from up top.