The Miami Dolphins firing Brian Flores reportedly was less about his coaching and more about his strained relationships with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and general manager Chris Grier.
Flores' relationship with Tagovailoa apparently deteriorated to the point where he told his QB he'd rather have someone else under center. Not just anyone else, though.
Former New England Patriots executive Michael Lombardi claims Flores told Tagovailoa that he wishes he drafted Mac Jones.
"If you're really honest (interviewing for the Dolphins HC job), are you going to sit there and say, 'I can build a team around Tua'? Because that's what (Dolphins owner Stephen) Ross wants to hear. That's what Brian Flores wouldn't say," Lombardi said on the latest GM Shuffle podcast.
"We've seen all the conversations that Flores basically had with Tua, where Flores told Tua at halftime of the Tennessee game -- this has all been reported -- I don't think Flores was shy about telling him, 'Hey, I should've picked Mac Jones.' I don't think he was shy about telling him that. In fact, I know that he wasn't. I remember I said there was commentary between the head coach and Tua during the season and I wouldn't reveal what the conversation was. Well, the conversation was, 'Hey, if I'd have knew you were going to be this bad, I would've picked Mac Jones.' "
Tagovailoa actually was drafted a year earlier than Jones with the fifth overall pick. Either Lombardi meant to say Los Angeles Chargers QB Justin Herbert, who was selected one pick after Tua in the 2020 NFL Draft, or Flores actually regrets not drafting Jones in 2021.
It's worth noting Lombardi claims he misspoke during the podcast, so it's unclear whether Flores actually said all of those unflattering comments to Tagovailoa.
Regardless, it's pretty clear there was major dysfunction in Miami, and Dolphins owner Stephen Ross ultimately sided with his QB and GM over his head coach.