I'll grant you that the shocking firing of Brian Flores only happened a couple of hours ago. But in that headline I was going for semi-ironic since at the beginning of March I used the same verbiage when Flores shockingly decided to let Kyle Van Noy go:
And Van Noy was back in Foxboro in a day or two. So I'm trying to get a consecutive headline streak started.
The point being, Flores would be a perfect fit back on the Patriots practice field, their meeting rooms, and the sideline. Thomas Wolfe might have written the novel "You Can't Go Home Again." But Jon Bon Jovi wrote, "Who Says You Can't Go Home?" And who is Bill Belichick closer to?
For so, so many reasons, this would be a perfect move at exactly the right time.
First of all, because Flores is not unemployed today because he failed as the Dolphins head coach. His firing is not the result of a HIM problem. As Pro Football Talk points out, it's a THEM problem:
The Dolphins have struggled in recent years to find any real flow or rhythm. A big part of the problem is that the owner of the team doesn’t spend nearly enough time in the building to assess how or where or why things are going.
Stephen Ross lives and works in New York. He’s one of the NFL’s various absentee owners. And this has not helped the Dolphins craft the kind of consistency that allows long-term stability and success. …
Someone will be blaming someone else for whatever goes wrong. Turf battles inevitably will emerge. … It quite possibly has happened more recently, with Brian Flores on one side and the front office on the other side.
The problem is that the coach, who’s busy coaching the team, doesn’t have the luxury of whispering to the owner all of the various problems caused by, for example, poor decisions when it comes to drafting players.
An absentee owner becomes insulated, both geographically and in terms of access. The GM or VP or whomever has all the power because he controls the information. He becomes the Littlefinger or the Varys, deflecting all the blame away from his own terrible decisions onto someone else. In this case, Flores.
Second, because there are precedents. In 2011, the Patriots were heading into a Super Bowl run when it was announced that offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien had been hired by Penn State to clean up the mess left behind by that enabling, demented old has been Joe Paterno. A short time later, Josh McDaniels was let go as the Rams' OC. He was immediately brought back like one of Ben Affleck's old girlfriends, took his old job back the following year, and has been there for 10 years since. And a similar thing happened with Matt Patricia, just with a more nebulous, undefined job description. When you leave on good terms - and I'd suggest leaving after holding Sean McVay's Rams to three points in a Super Bowl is the best possible terms - you are always welcomed back into the fold in Foxboro.
Thirdly, Flores has proven he can coach. The Dolphins who fired Adam Gase were 7-9. After one step back year under Flores, they went 10-6 and 9-7 respectively. More relevant to the Patriots, Flores went 4-2 against his old team. Including winning the last three. Meaning he understands the keys to beating them in ways that would be super helpful to a team that's obsessed with self-scouting their flaws and tendencies and eliminating them.
Finally, and this is key, while bringing in a new addition to your coaching staff in the middle of a season is a problem on virtually every other team, it's not an issue in New England. Hell, it's not even a consideration when:
1) You don't have a defensive coordinator. And
2) The guy doing your defensive coordinating got half his DNA from the head coach.
Flores could come in here as a consultant. A free lancer. A per diem. Assistant Defensive Coordinator. Assistant to the Defensive Coordinator. Or they could call him The Equalizer for all anyone on that coaching staff would care. As it stands, Jerod Mayo impressed people with the interviews he did last year and more are expected to be coming for him this year. So all the more reason to be ready to replace an opening on your staff with someone who understands this team so much that he not only won with it, he won against it.
It's the no braineriest moves of all no brainer moves. And it will happen this week. I can feel it. And I'm sure they can feel it in Buffalo. And they have good reason to worry. Unlike this guy: