Brian Flores, like many Belichick disciples, is trying to dramatically remake new team with surprise coach firing and lots of sprints

Alex Reimer
July 30, 2019 - 10:42 am
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Brian Flores is just starting his first training camp as a head coach, and like many Bill Belichick disciples before him, he’s already attempting to remake the organization in his more stringent image. 

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Time will tell if he experiences more success than most of his predecessors. 

The Dolphins have resembled a high school track team in their first days of practice, the Miami Herald’s Adam Beasley writes. Flores is making players run to a wall that says “Takes No Talent”  whenever they experience a mental mishap. Apparently, there have been lots of them.

“He’s big on discipline,” veteran safety T.J. McDonald told the Herald. “Making sure, if you’ve got too many players on the field, that’s pre-snap/post-snap that you can’t have. You’re going to pay for it.”

The “Takes No Talent” motto, in addition to resembling something that is plastered in high school gymnasiums across the country, is supposed to serve as a reminder that it doesn’t take any physical talent to ace the mental portion of the game. Miami was one of the most-penalized teams in the league under previous head coach Adam Gase. 

Players were also routinely late to meetings, which has led Flores to implement more rigorous measures, including a 10:30 p.m. curfew. 

Previous Patriots assistants who have tried this hard-assed approach often encounter some pushback, such as Matt Patricia in Detroit last season. But there appears to be an appetite for Flores’ rigidness. Players didn’t seem to love playing for Gase, as evidenced by Jarvis Landry’s rip job of his former head coach last season.

“It got to the point where the environment was just awful,” he told Sports Illustrated.

One way to obtain respect from underlings is to admit error, which is what Flores did Monday, when he dismissed offensive line coach Pat Flaherty less than one full week into camp. Flaherty, whom Flores hired in February, apparently struggled to jive under coordinator Chad O’Shea’s system.

Flores has promoted Dave DeGuglielmo to O-line coach, saying Tuesday he originally targeted the former New England assistant for the job. There were already three personnel changes on the line for Tuesday's practice. 

Flores has brought along several ex-Pats, including O’Shea, Josh Boyer and Jerry Schuplinski. Given the dearth of talent on Miami’s roster, culture will be important to establish. But as other Belichick assistants have learned, it’s hard to instill discipline when there’s lots of losing. Flores will inevitably face that challenge this season. 

Related: 5 takeaways from 5 days of Patriots camp