WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Dolphins fans and media outlets were eager to share their thoughts Monday after the surprise firing of head coach Brian Flores.
Flores produced a 24-25 mark over three seasons, falling short of leading Miami to the playoffs for a third straight year. He still had two years left on a five-year contract that he signed in 2019.
The decision by owner Stephen Ross to part ways with Flores after just three years of a team rebuild caught many fans off guard.
WPTV held a Facebook live discussion to allow fans to weigh in on the big news. Most of the comments by fans seem to indicate that they are struggling to comprehend the decision.
"Fins lose a lot of their momentum going into next year with this coaching change," said fan Jeff Dobbins.
"This is wrong on so many levels," said fan Jill Dallett.
Others said Flores wasn't the problem and thought general manager Chris Grier should be the one looking for a new job.
"If it's personal the GM should be fired. Don't let personal issues cross into professional coaching," said fan Jeff Katz.
ESPN 106.3 FM's Josh Cohen, who was shocked by the decision, said Flores won't have any problem finding new employment.
"(Flores) will have another job by the end of the week, if he wants one," Cohen. "This really feels personal. I think we're going to find out more as the day and the week progresses."
Diehard Dolphins fan Leonardo Bejarano said the team's future was bright under Flores' leadership.
"I really think that the Dolphins were on a good track. I really think the Dolphins were headed in the right direction for next season and the seasons beyond," Bejarano said.
Few would doubt that Flores is a solid defensive coach whose aggressive style has produced success during his tenure in Miami, but it's unclear if he has the management skills to be a successful head coach in the NFL.
The Dolphins' offensive was woeful this season only scoring 341 points, which was near the bottom of the league.
Miami had three offensive coordinators during Flores' time as head coach, contributing to a narrative that he was difficult to work with.
Omar Kelly, a longtime NFL columnist for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, wasn't so sure that Flores will easily find a new job as a head coach in the league.
"Brian Flores is a good coach. But the bottom line is he can't coach offense, & struggles with offensive hires," Kelly tweeted.
With Grier's job appearing to be safe, Cohen seemed to think there was some sort of rift between Flores and the general manager, calling the decision "shocking."
"Whether it be about [quarterback] Tua [Tagovailoa], and who the quarterback should be or who we have to play and who we have to develop," Cohen said. "This was about a personal issue or a difference between your general manager and your head coach."
One of the things that has many fans and members of the media baffled by the decision was that the Dolphins had turned this season around after a dreadful 1-7 start.
Miami went on to win seven straight games and only missed the playoffs by one game, concluding the season with a victory over the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday.
However, Flores is the latest in a long line of proteges of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick who have not found success as head coaches in the NFL.
Including interim coaches, the Dolphins are now looking for their 12th head coach since hall of famer Don Shula left the franchise in 1995.