Brian Flores 'Expected' to Get the Dolphins Head Coaching Job

As I’m writing this it doesn’t appear to be official official. Which is to say, it’s still being couched with little qualifiers like “expected” and “appears.” Which is as close to it being a reality without Adam Schefter or Ian Rapoport saying it’s definite. And after what went on between Josh McDaniels and Indy last year – hell, between Bill Belichick and the Jets 19 years ago – it’s smart to wait until the coach is awkwardly standing with the owner behind a podium with their hands on the same football before you believe a guy has signed his name on the line which is dotted.

But I’m going to go ahead and do just that so I can start my weekend.

One of the great things that makes a truly great organization successful is the chance for career advancement. Show me a supervisor who’s pissed off about someone who just gave their two weeks notice, and I’ll show you the reason that employee is probably leaving. When people believe that doing a good job will get them noticed and give them opportunities to advance, they’ll work extra hard to do good work and the whole operation benefits.

So on that level, it’s good for the Patriots to have yet assistant get a top job somewhere. Just like it was when Matt Patricia, Jon Robinson, Thomas Dimitroff, Bill O’Brien, McDaniels I, Scott Pioli, Dean Pees, Romeo Crennel, Charlie Weis and dozens of others make upward career moves. They’ve always had a line of succession planned to replace those guys, and they have yet to have the product on the field truly suffer. Ultimately it all comes down not only to Belichick himself, but to the organizational structure he’s put in place where information flows from the top down but also from the bottom up. So that everyone has a voice, a role and responsibilities. And when one man leaves, there are others behind him to take his place, like the teeth of a Great White. So I’m not that worried about the Patriots losing Brian Flores.

I’m not so sure I feel the same way about Flores losing the Patriots though, if I’m being perfectly honest. No one’s denying he’s a bright guy who speaks with genuine authority and works his ass off. Ask anyone who knew him at Boston College and they’ll tell you they always believed he’d be Big Time. And now he is.

But this is after one season as the de facto, untitled Patriots defensive coordinator. Taking over a team that’s won 13 games in the last two years. With two double-digit win seasons in the last 15. That hasn’t won a playoff game since 2000. And even acknowledging that head coaching jobs for successful franchises don’t, by their nature, become available, the Dolphins have no stability and even less patience. They haven’t had a coach last four full seasons since Dave Wannstadt. You can’t afford to take a job like this only to lose it because ownership is mercurial and some hot new commodity like a college wunderkind or some random Harbaugh brother suddenly becomes available. Flores is in a position where he can wait and his job offers will not dry up. He’ll gain experience. His team will continue to win division titles and make deep playoff runs. And the interview requests will keep coming. He doesn’t come to me for life coaching (and if he did I’d turn him into a lazy, overweight power drinker with a nasty cigar habit in no time), but I think he’s taking the first offer that came along and it’s terrible mistake.

As a final note, I just wonder how this will go over inside the Patriots offices. Because the one coach I didn’t mention who left for a “better” job was Eric Mangini. He bailed after one year on the job. For a division rival. And Belichick hasn’t spoken to him since, in spite of the fact Mangina named his son after him. (Then again, in 2008 he named another after Brett Favre, so I think he sells those naming rights cheap.) I’d hate to think in a few years we’ll see Flores wandering the Earth, a hollow shell of a man the way the Fredo Corleone of the Patriots family does.

So the bottom line is the same as they say about the players. Next coach up. Hopefully we get Brian Flores a ring on his way out of town. But regardless, we’ll always have this: