MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores recently sat down with CBS4’s Jim Berry to talk about football.
Like his New England mentor coach Bill Belichick, Flores is soft-spoken and a bit stoic, but he’s not here to be a Belichick clone.
“Each coach has their own style. If you try to be someone else it’s not authentic, and if you’re not authentic you can’t connect to anyone. So, I’m just going to be Brian Flores.”
The person who molded that guy, he says, is his late mom, Maria Flores. She died of cancer a month after he became the Dolphins head coach.
Her life lessons stuck with him.
“My mom was very demanding, I’m very demanding as a coach. Attention to detail was big for her and it’s big for me.”
Dolphin players got their first taste of that in big, bold letters. ‘TNT’ means it takes no talent to play smart.
“Some guys might interpret that as Brian Flores won’t tolerate guys who make a lot of mental mistakes, is that a fair read?” Jim asks.
“I would say that’s very fair, I think you need to play smart in this league to win,” Flores responds.
Flores may not be patient with repeated mistakes, but Flores vows to follow mom’s advice and coach with a parent’s compassion.
“Hopefully, over time the goal is that when I am hard on them they understand that I’m doing it ’cause it’s in their best interests,” Flores says.
In New England, Flores developed a reputation of being someone worth listening to as he coached marginal players into becoming meaningful contributors.
“I think that’s the one thing I love about coaching is helping guys reach a potential that they may not have thought they could reach.”
“The one thing I say is that hopefully, my goals aren’t bigger than the ones you have for yourself.”
Flores wants his Dolphins to have depth so that the team does not sink even should a few starters get hurt and while Dolphin fans may yearn for another Dan Marino, Flores says winning big does not hinge on just having a superstar quarterback.
“I think it’s a team game, I do. I’ll just never believe it’s about one person,” says Flores.
Flores knows his mission is to revitalize a Dolphin franchise that has been stuck on so-so for too long.
Winning may take time.
“How do you build a winning culture Brian, even if at first maybe you’re not winning games?” Jim asks.
“I think if we improve on a day to day basis, you know from a discipline standpoint, from a fundamental standpoint, from a technique standpoint, from a communications standpoint,” Flores responds.
“The fruits of those things will show hopefully sooner than later, but they’ll show up,” Flores adds.
Flores recently sat down with coach Don Shula and shares his belief that players must put team first and stats second.
Since we brought up Shula, I wondered if Flores might borrow Shula’s tactic of getting opponents to wilt in the South Florida heat.
“You gonna wear the white uniforms and make the visitors wear the dark uniforms so the heat hits them harder a little bit more?” Jim asks.
“Potentially,” says Flores, while smiling.