The Miami Dolphins lack elite talent and have already begun what could be a lengthy rebuild, but one positive aspect of this franchise is its coaching staff.
Dolphins head coach Brian Flores has done a fantastic job during his first season in Miami. Flores came from the New England Patriots, where he worked under Bill Belichick for more than a decade, most recently as a linebackers coach and defensive playcaller. Flores has gotten his team to play beyond its talent. Miami owns a 4-11 record entering Sunday's Week 17 game against the Patriots at Gillette Stadium, and in many of these losses the Dolphins were quite competitive.
It's the type of competitiveness that Flores saw each day in Foxboro, and he's tried to make this attitude a pillar of the foundation he's building in Miami.
“Look, I was with Bill for 15 years. I know him very well. He knows me very well. At the end of the day, I have a lot of respect for him. I learned a lot from him," Flores said Tuesday during a media conference call. "I’m fortunate to have worked with that organization for a long time. But I know this about him: He’s going to try to beat the heck out of us. And he knows this about me: We’re going to do the same. That’s why I was in the (Patriots) building. I’m competitive by nature. I think that’s something I tried to impart on the players that I was around. So, I know they’re competitive. I love those guys, they love me, and I know that. So, from (Devin) McCourty, to (Patrick) Chung, to (Kyle) Van Noy, to (Elandon) Roberts to (Dont’a) Hightower — I built relationships with these guys that go far beyond football. I know that.
"But on Sunday, we’re going to be competing against each other and nobody’s going to care about any of that stuff. I think that’s the same with Bill, and that coaching staff and all the guys there -- Josh McDaniels, Joe Judge. The friendships go far beyond football. I know that, and I think Bill knows that. But at 1 o’clock on Sunday, they’re going to be on the other side, and we’re competing, and we'll be friends after those three to four hours.”
The Dolphins have lost 10 consecutive games in New England, and their last road win versus the Patriots came in 2008 when Miami used the "Wildcat" offense to earn a surprising 38-13 victory.
Oddsmakers are expecting another Dolphins loss at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, and they've pegged the Patriots as 15.5-point betting favorites.
The Dolphins hit a new low as a franchise with a 43-0 home loss to the Patriots back in Week 2. Now, Flores' team has a chance to build some positive momentum entering 2020 by giving a quality performance against the defending Super Bowl champions in the regular season finale.