Dolphins owner Stephen Ross explains decision to fire Brian Flores

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Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross explained the decision to let Brian Flores go after back-to-back winning seasons, which was one of the shocking decisions to come down Monday.

Ross called Flores, who had been with the team for three years, a “good man” and wished him “the best.” He dove into what went into the decision to fire Flores.

“Well, I’ve been looking at this over three years now and watching the organization grow. I think an organization can only function if it is collaborative and it works well together,” Ross said. “I don’t think that we were really working well as an organization that it would take to really win consistently at the NFL level.”

Head coach Brian Flores of the Miami Dolphins takes the field during introductions prior to the game against the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium on Jan. 9, 2022, in Miami Gardens, Florida.
(Mark Brown/Getty Images)

Ross indicated there may have been a communication issue that had led to his decision.

“I think if you look at it, it’s really communication and collaboration. I don’t think there is any organization in this country that unless you have excellent communication and collaborative efforts within the whole organization, that you can really win and sustain yourself in the long term,” he said.

He added the idea of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh being interested in returning to the NFL didn’t factor into the decision.

Chairman of the Board/Managing General Partner Stephen M. Ross, ead coach Brian Flores and General Manager Chris Grier pose for a photograph after Flores was introduced as the new head coach of the Miami Dolphins on Feb. 4, 2019, at the Miami Dolphins training facility in Davie, Florida.
(Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

“I have no coach in mind at this point. We’re going to do a thorough review and interview process. Jim Harbaugh, I love Jim Harbaugh. He had the opportunity once before to come to the Miami Dolphins. But he’s at the University of Michigan as everybody really knows,” Ross said. “That is the school that I graduated from and I’m very involved in it, and I’m not going to be the person that takes Jim Harbaugh from the University of Michigan. I hope he stays there. He is a great coach.”

Miami had been wrapped up in Deshaun Watson trade rumors earlier in the season. Ross said the possibility of trading for Watson wasn’t on his mind and expressed confidence in Tua Tagovailoa going forward.

“First of all, let me be clear, it played no role at all. I have a lot of confidence in Tua and I think the next head coach will work with him, or whoever else, but I have a lot of confidence in him,” Ros said. “I have watched him grow. I think he’s a fine young man and he is right now the quarterback and that will be dependent upon the new head coach but I have a lot of confidence in Tua.”

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa celebrates after running to gain yardage during the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Miami Gardens, Florida.
(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Miami finished 9-8 and in third place in the AFC East. The team hasn’t been to the playoffs since the 2016 season.

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