The Dolphins brass met with Patriots defensive assistant Brian Flores formally for a second time on Wednesday night to discuss more about him taking over their head coaching vacancy. At least that’s what the pretense of the meeting was. We all know the reality: Miami has decided to hire Flores, but under league policy on hiring coaches still involved in the post season is forbidden from being official.
Flores is still coaching for an active playoff team, but wants to be a head coach. Miami has the opening. They obviously want to hire him. Who’s kidding whom?
It’s pretty clear in 2019, this is something that should be amended.
The policy and a hiring of a postseason coach became very ugly a year ago, when the Colts tried to hire another Patriots assistant, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. They believed they had a firm commitment from McDaniels, although nothing was signed. And McDaniels proceeded to double-cross them, electing to stay with the Patriots and reneging on the agreement.
And to listen to South Florida sports radio and read comments on the internet and social media, there is still genuine concern that the Flores might do the same thing to the Dolphins.
Now, it should be pointed out that Flores’ 2017 boss, Matt Patricia left New England as the defensive coordinator after last year’s Superbowl to take over the head coaching job of the Lions.
A couple of other points:
One, Miami and owner Stephen Ross (above) chose this path and knew what they were up against in terms of league policies on hiring playoffs coaches. And, they have chosen to wait.
Two, there is really no harm in the NFL making these hires official and saying to the assistant “you have a guideline of a certain day(s) during the postseason week in which you can formally agree.” Then, you have the press conference and get that team started on hiring assistant coaches. They and their teams know they want to take the job.
Again, who’s kidding whom?
However, it has leaked out the Flores has already been talking to former Colts and Lions head coach Jim Caldwell about a prominent role in his offense and Packers assistant Patrick Graham, as his defensive coordinator.
Still, the Dolphins cannot make formal any of these moves, because of the policy. And it’s a concern on which ones they missed, too.
Now, Miami is not alone, as the Cincinnati Bengals are intending to hire Rams offensive coordinator Zach Taylor when the Super Bowl is over under the same scenarios above.
So, that’s two teams waiting.
Waiting for not much real reason right now.
What to watch Thursday Dolphins-Jags third preseason game
Week three of the preseason is already here as the Jags and the Dolphins get set for their in-state clash tonight at Hard Rock Stadium.
Week three is known to be the “most important” preseason game as the starters will usually play a half of football. And, for the Jags, this will be the first time they will play most of the first-team offense, meanwhile, the Fins have another chance for Josh Rosen and Ryan Fitzpatrick to step up.
Those are just a few of the things we want to watch:
Nick Foles– Of course, Foles is what to watch for tonight. The Jags will be letting the QB out of the cage tonight for the first time. The $88 million-dollar man will look to start his Jaguars career on a positive note. It will be interesting to see how he fares in his first live-action of the season.
Dolphins QBs- Josh Rosen hasn’t done anything to win the job so far in the preseason. He also though has not done anything to lose it either. So, Ryan Fitzpatrick very well could be the starter week 1. While some will argue there is no point in playing the journeyman over the 2nd year guy, Fitpatrick won games last year in Tampa Bay.
The Dolphins though, will play the guy they feel has the best chance to win them games to start this season, and want Rosen to become that guy, eventually. Tonight should show us who that guy will for the Dolphins opener.
Jackonville O-Line and Leonard Fournette– We think this will be the first appearance for the starting running back, as well on the preseason. We know he can be a punishing downhill runner, but new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo wants Fournette more involved in the passing game.
Will they show a little bit of what they have in store for him tonight though is the question? Also, on the O-Line Cam Robinson is back how much will the Jags push him tonight though a few plays, a few series, a quarter or risk his first contact being regular season week one?
Dophins giving up sacks- Last week the Bucs accounted for five sacks (three on Rosen) against the Dolphins in Tampa. This week the Dolphins will face a better unit for a longer time and will need to help keep the QBs on their feet.
Coach Brian Flores even said after the game last week he would like to see Rosen take fewer sacks. If he wants to win the job tonight, he will need help from his O-Line and his own decision making.
Players out- The Jags have announced that nine players won’t be seeing the field tonight among those are WR Marqise Lee and three different tight ends. That means we could see a lot of James O’Shaughnessy at tight end. For the wideouts that means more opportunity for some of the guys like D.J. Chark, Chris Conley and company.
Mistakes- Last week Miami had some drops and a lot of flags thrown on them. Look out for the Dolphins to play a cleaner game tonight. With the starters playing more coach Flores is expecting fewer penalties after getting hit with 13 calls for a loss of 122 yards last week.
Report- Dolphins extending contract of WR Jakeem Grant
The Miami Dolphins have apparently made a move tonight and have locked in return specialist/receiver Jakeem Grant.
NEWS: Source indicates that the Dolphins and Jakeem Grant are close to a 4-year contract extension that keeps him in Miami through 2023. pic.twitter.com/DFhVktm2lD
— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) August 21, 2019
The deal is rumored to be a 4-year extension to lock him down in South Beach through the 2023 season.
With a new coaching staff in place in Miami, they have made locking up the 2016 class a priority.
Grant was set to make just $720,000 in the final year of his rookie deal. Beasley did not have terms on the deal, but it’s safe to assume he will be getting a hefty raise. This deal could show the Fins are ready to give Grant a more prominent role in the offense, as well.
Previously, Miami GM Chris Grier has locked up 2016 draft pick Xavien Howard to 5 year, $73 million extension in May. The Dolphins will also look to extend left tackle Laremy Tunsil, as well, and he will likely command in the neighborhood of $12+ million per season to do so.
Grant has been a mainstay as a special team’s player so far in his career. As a return specialist Grant was an all-pro last season. The 16.3 yards-per-return across 14 punt returns in 2018 is a superb mark, as was his 29.7 yards-per return average on kickoffs.
Grant was a sub 4.4 40-yard dash guy coming out of Texas Tech and has made his limited touches count in the NFL. Grant has 34 catches in three NFL seasons, scoring four touchdowns, and averaging 13.9 yards per reception. He and fellow speedy undersized receiver Albert Wilson made a 1-2 “big play punch” early last season, as Miami jumped out to a 3-0 record.
However, Wilson was lost in October for the season with a hip injury. Then, Grant ended up suffering a torn calf muscle and missing the final six games of last year.
Grant has also been on the sidelines so far this preseason with a nagging hamstring injury.
But, he returned to practice Monday, and the Dolphins apparently believe he is back to full health.