Tagged in: chris grier

Miami Dolphins fire coach Brian Flores after three seasons; GM Chris Grier to remain

The Dolphins fired head coach Brian Flores after three campaigns with the franchise, the team revealed Monday morning, barely 12 hours after he coached the team to a 33-24 triumph over the New England Patriots.

General manager Chris Grier will remain with the team in his current role, ESPN’s Jeff Darlington reported. Next season will be Grier’s seventh season as the team’s GM.

The decision came from Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, who released a statement offering an explanation.

“I made a decision today to part ways with Brian Flores,” Ross said. “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.”

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Despite speculation that Ross was interested in hiring Jim Harbaugh as coach, the Dolphins are not targeting the Michigan coach he stated in a news conference to discuss Flores’ firing.

“I’m not going to be the one who takes Jim Harbaugh away from the University of Michigan,” Ross, who is an alumnus of the university, said.

Ross said the Dolphins’ quarterback position played “no role” in Flores’ firing.

“I have a lot of confidence in Tua (Tagovailoa) … I’m sure the next head coach will work with him, as well,” he said.

Ross also said that that he has “no plans” to pursue Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson in a trade, adding that it will up to the next head coach to make the decision on the quarterback position.

Flores now is expected to be a prime candidate to get head-coaching consideration elsewhere during this next hiring cycle, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Miami was expected to compete for an AFC East title in 2021 after finishing 10-6 and missing the playoffs in 2020.

The team won its opening game before losing seven straight, putting itself in a hole no other team in NFL history has come back from to make the playoffs. However, Miami responded to its seven-game losing streak with a seven-game winning streak — becoming the first team in league history to do both in the same season.

However, the high of that winning streak came to a sudden stop when the Dolphins were blown out by the Tennessee Titans in Week 17, knocking them out of playoff contention for the fifth straight season.

Flores was just the fourth coach in franchise history to record two winning seasons in his first three years with the team, going 24-25 in his tenure and 4-2 versus his former boss, Bill Belichick — the best mark of any coach against Belichick while at the Patriots’ helm.

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Tua Tagovailoa believes he’s Miami Dolphins’ franchise QB, but says he must ‘prove’ it

Tua Tagovailoa considers he can be the Miami Dolphins’ franchise quarterback but knows he has to prove it with better play in Year 2.

Tagovailoa is coming off a rookie season where he went 6-3 with a 64.1% completion rate, 14 total touchdowns and five interceptions. But the former Alabama star was substituted twice in the fourth quarter by veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick and struggled at times to throw the ball effectively downfield.

With the Dolphins in the thick of offseason quarterback speculation for the second straight year, Tagovailoa was asked whether he is convinced that Miami is all-in on him as the franchise quarterback.

“In my mind and in my heart, I would hope so,” Tagovailoa said Monday during an interview with Sirius Mad Dog Radio. “With the way things went last year, you always have to prove yourself to do better, and I want to do better.”

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Dolphins coach Brian Flores told ESPN last month that he’s “excited about the future with Tagovailoa,” and the Dolphins believe in him. Dolphins general manager Chris Grier also said last month that Tagovailoa is their starting quarterback and they are happy with his development.

This offseason will prove if the Dolphins’ strong public commitment to Tagovailoa matches their actions, with multiple options potentially available, including unhappy Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter recently reported that Watson has requested a trade, while ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that Watson has Miami high on his preferred trade destination list.

The Dolphins are one of the few teams with the draft capital to potentially entice a Watson trade.

Tagovailoa told Sirius Mad Dog Radio that he hadn’t heard the Watson trade rumors until his agent told him about them, but “that’s something that would be out of my control regardless.”

“That would be a decision of the Dolphins organization,” he said. “I have to control what I can control — work hard and do well next season.”

Tagovailoa was also honest in his evaluation of his 2020 season, saying he “would describe my rookie season as below average. This past season wasn’t up to the expectation that I have for myself.”

If the Dolphins do move forward with Tagovailoa, as is their existing plan, the focus would be on his Year 2 improvement. He told the Dan Patrick Show that there’s a “big difference” in his health this offseason compared to last year, when he was coming off serious hip surgery, and he can focus this year on improving mental elements of his game.

The Dolphins already have made it a focus to build around Tagovailoa early in the 2021 offseason, including hiring his former Elite 11 high school camp coach Charlie Frye as the their quarterbacks coach.

They also spent significant time at the Senior Bowl getting to know Alabama star receiver DeVonta Smith and running back Najee Harris; both are fits for the Dolphins’ offensive needs, have a great relationship with Tagovailoa and could be options for Miami to select with each of their first-round draft picks (Nos. 3 and 18).

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