One year ago at this time, Brian Flores was heralded as one of the NFL's better young coaches. He seemed to have a young Miami Dolphins team ahead of schedule, competing in the AFC East with a good defense that regularly created takeaways and an offense that made the most of its limited talent. This year was supposed to be another leap as Tua Tagovailoa continued to develop and high draft picks were spent on players like Jaylen Waddle to beef up the offensive weapons.
That... has not happened. The Dolphins are 1-5 and could easily be 0-6 if not for a Patriots redzone fumble in Week 1. The defense has completely and utterly collapsed, ranking as one of the league's worst units through six weeks. Tagovailoa does not look any better than he did one year ago; he has flashes, like his 300-yard, multi-TD performance against the Jaguars in London today, but he looks completely lost more often than not.
How much of that should be on Flores is debatable, but one thing is clear: he should be on the coaching hot seat.
Flores is a defense-first coach. We can cut him some slack for Tagovailoa's development (and certainly cannot blame him for the sophomore QB's injury issues), although the onus ultimately falls on him for hiring the people in charge of ensuring Tagovailoa becomes the franchise quarterback Miami needs him to be. But a defense-first coach is supposed to craft a great unit. Flores did that, but whatever happened this year, it led to a terrible defense.
Flores hasn't been given a ton of help by Chris Grier, the GM brought in to be Flores' partner in football. Grier accumulated a lot of first-round picks but so far doesn't have very much to show for it, and his decision to pick Tagovailoa over Justin Herbert will follow both him and the organization for years to come. Ultimately, though, the coach controls the product on the field every Sunday, and the Dolphins just haven't gotten it done.
It may not be fair, but football is not fair. Miami had big expectations this year after coming within one game of a playoff berth in 2020. They would have to make a historic turnaround to even be in the hunt come December. Flores' season isn't done yet, but the seat should be getting uncomfortably warm.