Miami Dolphins

Brian Flores shares important takeaway from working with Bill Belichick

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USA TODAY Sports

Brian Flores shares important takeaway from working with Bill Belichick

Many of the coaches who've worked under New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick have not fared well when getting the opportunity to be the head coach of their own team, and the Miami Dolphins are hoping Brian Flores will be the outlier to this trend.

Flores was hired by the Dolphins in February after helping lead the Patriots to a Super Bowl LIII victory as linebackers coach. The 38-year-old is one of the youngest head coaches in the NFL and one of six entering the 2019 season with less than a year of head coaching experience.

Learning under Belichick does have its benefits, though, and Flores recently revealed in an interview with The Boston Globe's Ben Volin one important takeaway from his time working with the legendary Patriots coach.

When asked about the greatest lesson he learned from Belichick, Flores said, “Put the team first.” One of Belichick’s most-used phrases is, ‘We do what’s in the best interests of the team.’

“Whether that’s moving on from coaches, moving on from players, a decision that’s made in-game or from a personnel standpoint,” Flores said. “You always want to do what’s in the best interest of this organization.”

This is a good approach for Flores to take. And let's make no mistake -- there's a lot of work to do in Miami.

The Patriots have made 16 playoff appearances and won six Super Bowl championships over the last 18 seasons. The Dolphins have two Wild Card round losses and 12 (!) losing seasons over the same span. Miami hasn't reached an AFC Championship Game since 1985 or a Super Bowl since 1984.

Flores is taking over a roster that struggled on both sides of the football last season. Miami ranked 26th in points scored and 27th in points allowed in 2018.

The Dolphins' early regular season schedule is brutal. They play the Baltimore Ravens, Patriots, Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Chargers (in that order) in September before a Week 5 bye. We should find out fairly quickly into the 2019 season if the Dolphins are going to make a quick turnaround with Flores at the helm.

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Minkah Fitzpatrick, Dolphins studying film on the Patriots defense under new coach Brian Flores

Minkah Fitzpatrick, Dolphins studying film on the Patriots defense under new coach Brian Flores

When former Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores left for the head coaching job with the Dolphins, he took a number of New England assistants to Miami with him.

With Flores running the show, Patrick Graham as the defensive coordinator and Chad O'Shea as the offensive coordinator, it's safe to expect the Dolphins to look a lot like the Patriots stylistically. 

Second-year defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick pretty much confirmed that when he said the team has been watching a lot of Patriots film to prepare for their new defensive scheme. 

The Dolphins most likely won't execute their system to the level the Patriots do for a long time, but it should be interesting to see another franchise run things similar to Bill Belichick. 

We've seen other teams hire Belichick disciples before, but the Dolphins staff is littered with former Patriots coaches. Can the "Patriot Way" be replicated, or is Belichick the only one with the secret formula?

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Brian Flores cancels Dolphins practice, will attend Patriots' ring ceremony

Brian Flores cancels Dolphins practice, will attend Patriots' ring ceremony

Brian Flores is killing two birds with one stone Thursday.

The Dolphins head coach cancelled the final practice of his team's mandatory minicamp Thursday, as Miami's players will complete a morning conditioning test before being let out for the summer, according to Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel.

NFL head coaches occasionally scrap the final day of the three-day June minicamp to reward their players for two days of hard work. In Flores' case, it will also allow the former Patriots linebackers coach to jet up to Boston to attend New England's Super Bowl LIII ring ceremony, which team owner Robert Kraft will host at his house.

Flores, who spent nearly 15 years as an assistant in the Patriots' organization and was the team's de facto defensive coordinator during its 2018 Super Bowl season, said Wednesday he's "excited" to celebrate with his former squad.

"If you guys know anything about me, we'll work on Thursday," Flores said, via The Boston Globe's Ben Volin. "I'll head up to Boston, celebrate that and then I'll be back on Friday. But yeah, it will be good to see some old friends. I'm looking forward to it."

Flores isn't the only ex-Patriot descending on Boston for Thursday night's ring ceremony, as Oakland Raiders offensive tackle Trent Brown apparently is back in town, as well.

The Patriots are expected to be at work Thursday in their final minicamp session before meeting up with Flores, Brown and Co. to relive the 2018 glory days.

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