It looks like the Dolphins have found their replacement for coach Adam Gase, but they will have to wait to hire him officially.
SI.com NFL insider Albert Breer broke the story Friday afternoon that Miami has apparently made up their mind to hire Patriots defensive assistant Brian Flores:
Source: The Dolphins are expected to hire Patriots LBs coach Brian Flores as head coach after New England’s season ends. @RapSheet first on it.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 11, 2019
The move cannot be made official until New England is eliminated from the playoffs, as the Patriots are hosting the L.A. Chargers on Sunday afternoon in the AFC Divisional round.
As we wrote earlier this week, it had been strange with the flurry of hires by six teams in 2 1/2 days, that the Fins and owner Stephen Ross were 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.
ESPN reporter/insider, Jeff Darlington added this info on Friday night:
Here’s what I can tell you about the Dolphins’ desire to hire Brian Flores: He was their first interview — and his leadership abilities were clear. The Dolphins didn’t want to find someone who focused on offense or defense. Their mission was simple: Find the best head coach.
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) January 11, 2019
Earlier on Friday, Miami GM Chris Grier and Ross held separate interviews with offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains and special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi for the head coaching position that opened, when Gase was fired two weeks ago.
Gase is expected to hire Loggains in some capacity to come coach on offense with him for the Jets. Meanwhile, Rizzi could still be kept on by Flores in his current role. He has been with Miami for the last eight seasons and three coaching staffs.
Six teams have formally filled their vacancies. Along with the Fins, the Bengals are reportedly hiring Rams offensive assistant Zac Taylor after their playoff season concludes.
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