Or, to look at it from another angle, considering the Miami Dolphins got it all backwards:
Brian Flores is out as coach. General manager Chris Grier stays. That’s the reverse of the manner change should have come from any sane and rational football view — if this was in fact about football.
Which it wasn’t entirely.
“Collaboration and communication,” owner Steve Ross said were the reasons for firing Flores.
Translation: It was about relationships again inside this team. Remember when Grier took over and said, “The dysfunction stops now?”
It hasn’t stopped. It continues. Ross doubled-down on Grier and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa over Flores. Flores wasn’t working with them, a source told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. He also disrespected Ross in some manner in a way that led to his firing.
That fits Flores’ developed portfolio of having trouble working well with people. He went through three offensive coordinators and four offensive line coaches in three years. That’s why he started 1-7 this past year, why this season was sunk — why, in short, the long list of people he fired in three years don’t have much compassion for his departure.
He also was 19-14 as coach the past two years with unsettled rosters. His teams played hard – so he was getting through to the players who mattered.
If Flores had his personal shortcomings to work on, Grier had football longcomings. Do we really need to go down his laundry list of personnel decisions from the draft misses and free-agency mis-spendings?
Are you trying to build a winning football team or a kum-bye-ya campfire sing-a-long?
Grier’s past three years of overseeing a rebuild can be condensed to one decision:
Tagovailoa over Justin Herbert.
That decision alone gets a general manager fired. The prime reason to rebuild in the massive manner that sacrificed three season was to get an elite quarterback.
Has Tua shown anything to be The Man?
“I have a lot of confidence in Tua,” Ross said. “I think the next head coach will work with him. I think he’ll grow.”
So why did Ross get permission to talk to Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson at the trade deadline? Why consider trading for a player with 22 sexual-misconduct allegations against him if you like Tua so much?
This organization is schizophrenic right at the the top. Ross does one thing – and now says another. He’s ready to give up on Tua for Watson. Now he’s firing Flores in part over his relationship with Grier and Tua.
There was a shouting match at halftime between Flores and Tua two Sundays ago as the Dolphins were being dismantled by Tennessee. Big deal, huh? A football coach and his quarterback yelling. Unless it went far out of bounds, that was every Sunday between Bill Parcells and Phil Simms, happened at times with Dan Marino and Don Shula.
Ross, too, didn’t close the Watson door on Monday.
“It will be up to head coach what he does with quarterback,” he said when asked about Watson. “It will depend on next head coach and direction he wants to take.”
No, no, a thousand times no. A decision like that, involving allegations like that, starts with the owner. Do you want someone with those issues to be the face of your franchise? Yes or no. In or out.
Ross had this option, too: Clean house. Decide it’s time for a completely new regime. Flores has trouble getting along with people. Grier isn’t good at constructing a team. That would have been a viable idea rather than his customary binary way of making these decisions of a) stays and b) goes.
Look at Ross’s moves since taking over in 2009: GM Jeff Ireland stays and coach Tony Sparano goes; coach Joe Philbin stays and Ireland goes; vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum and Grier stay and Philbin goes; Grier stays and Adam Gase and Tannenbaum go; Grier stays and Flores goes.
Ross likes the shot-gun wedding of forced matches between GM and coaches. How’s it working?
The next coach likely won’t be Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh. Ross, Michigan’s biggest booster, made a run at Harbaugh a decade ago and said he won’t do so again. Is he putting Michigan above the Dolphins interests? A fair question considering Harbaugh is rumored to be moving to a pro job.
Ross says he doesn’t have an idea of the next coach. Jim Caldwell would be another one to watch. He was hired at the start of the Flores era before going out the door for reportedly health reasons.
The team owner doubled-down once again on Grier. He kept the guy who has been at the controls of personnel problems for years. There’s some good, some bad — and that’s how you get to mediocre seasons.
Ross wants to win badly. But does he know what it takes to win? Does he understand what’s holding this team back?
It’s fair to ask this, too: Has Ross made a hiring on his team you can get behind and say it was great?
Review those names: Philbin. Tannenbaum. Gase. Grier. Throw in Dawn Aponte and Dennis Hickey in the front office considering they run it in various ways. Have any worked out?
His best hire was Flores.
And now he’s gone.
Again, Flores wasn’t perfect. Just ask the coaches he cold-heartedly fired the past few years. Just look at the blunders he made either in hiring or firing his staff. That’s the central problem again this season.
No NFL team should have an offensive staff where the flow chart reads like a roundabout. Flores even refused to say who called plays early in the season. It turned out to be Charlie Fry, Tua’s one-time private coach who previously was Central Michigan’s offensive coordinator. No wonder why he didn’t want to say.
When that experiment failed, he turned to George Godsey, who seemed to straighten out the offense as best he could. It was functional given the mismatched pieces.
A troubled offensive line. No running backs. Wide receivers who, as their career portfolios show, got hurt a lot. And who assembled that roster?
The same GM who will assemble it next year.
Who has survived eight regime changes in the front office.
Who hasn’t seen a playoff win in his Dolphins time.
Grier stays. Flores goes.
I’ll take all responsibility,” Ross said. “I am the owner of the team. If it’s not working, it’s up to me. That’s why we’re making a change.”
He had the choice to clean house completely. That would have been the move since Flores disrespected the owner. Instead, the coach goes and the GM stays. The Dolphins, from a football view, got this one all backwards.
Source: Berkshire mont