The Patriots pummeled the L.A. Chargers Sunday (don’t let the Chargers late TDs fool you) and that means that the Dolphins will have to wait a little longer to officially hire defensive coach Brian Flores.
New England advanced to yet another AFC Championship game in no small part with how their defense stymied QB Phillip Rivers (see above) and the run game with Melvin Gordon (9 carries 15 yards) throughout their 41-28 win Sunday in Foxboro.
They will play at Kansas City next Sunday for chance to go to Superbowl 53.
As we wrote earlier this week, it had been strange with the flurry of hires by six teams in 2 1/2 days (Monday night-Wednesday afternoon), that the Fins owner Stephen Ross was potentially waiting on Flores after the conclusion of his season/duties.
Some background on the front running candidate:
Flores is a thirty-seven-year-old energetic defensive coach, who has been studying under arguably the greatest coach in the modern era of football in Bill Belichick for 11 seasons. The Patriots have done nothing but win for almost 20 years and counting. And when former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia left to take the Lions coaching job, Belichick had Flores call his defense this season.
New England did not designate Flores as “defensive coordinator,” but that’s what he has been this season. The Patriots were seventh in the NFL in both yards allowed and points allowed per game in 2018, and obviously rose to the occasion Sunday after a bye week.
Other than giving up a 43 yard bomb from Rivers to Keenan Allen in the first half to tie the game at 7-7. New England’s defense forced the Chargers to punt on their next five possessions over the next 2 1/2 quarters, and the Pats led 38-7.
The Dolphins were apparently impressed with Flores’ presence in their face to face interview and his pedigree being with all the success that in New England during his tenure as an assistant.
Off the playoff weekend, another Fins interviewee, Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy will now match Xs and Os with Flores this week.
Miami also interviewed Cowboys defensive assistant Kris Richard. And, he is now available for Miami to talk with again, if they want, after Dallas lost to the L.A. Rams in the NFC playoffs Saturday night.
One more note Sunday afternoon, if Miami is wanting to keep special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi, that may be difficult without Flores being hired. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero had more:
After denying requests during HC search, the #Dolphins now are permitting respected STC Darren Rizzi — a candidate for head job before Miami settled on Brian Flores — to speak to other teams, per source. They’d like to retain him. #Vikings, #Packers among teams that have called.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 13, 2019
There’s still a chance that if Flores is the coach, that he would want Rizzi, who has survived two previous coaching changes in Miami, to remain.
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