Duron Harmon: We wanted to send Brian Flores off the right way in Super Bowl LIII

Ryan Hannable
February 09, 2019 - 10:54 am

The Patriots knew Super Bowl LIII would be Brian Flores' last game as a member of the coaching staff, as it was known he was going to become the next Dolphins' head coach whenever the season ended.

Led by Flores, the de facto defensive coordinator, the Patriots defense had arguably the best defensive Super Bowl performance by holding the Rams, who had the No. 2 ranked offense during the season, to only three points, which were the fewest in Super Bowl history.

New England beat the Rams, 13-3, to claim its sixth Super Bowl title.

“I’m not going to say we went out there and played just for him, but we definitely wanted to send him off the right way because we had a great time this year with him challenging us, pushing at us to be the best defense that we could be,” safety Duron Harmon said Friday on Sirius XM's Opening Drive with Ross Tucker and Charlie Weis. “A lot of people wanted to write us off after we lost the back-to-back games, especially defensively vs. Pittsburgh and Miami. I mean, we were giving up, at one point I think in those two games or three games, including the Vikings, like 9.5 yards a carry.

“[Flores] did everything in his power to put us in a defense that stopped the run, switching up things, switching up personnel [groups], doing everything he could to give us the best chance to win. And he did that. Over these last five games that we played, our defense has been stout and we owe a lot a lot of that to him.”

Harmon has known Flores for a long time, as he was his safeties coach before he moved up to linebackers, so he knows what Miami is getting.

“I will say the first thing that [the Dolphins] should really be excited about and that I really think probably [allowed him to stand] apart from anybody who did the interviews is he’s a tremendous leader,” Harmon said. “I can’t talk enough about how great of a leader he is. He was able to get the best out of each and everybody on that defense. I’m just taking it back to when I first got there, he was the safeties coach, and he did everything to put all his players in the best position.

“I remember at one point we were playing four safeties my second year – me, [Patrick] Chung, Dev [McCourty] and Tavon Wilson. He’s putting us all in positions to play the game and putting us in positions to use our strengths to help the team. Then, he goes over to the linebacker position and does the same thing, finding roles for everybody just to make sure that we’re always in a good position.”

The Patriots will get to see first-hand the work Flores does in Miami since they play each other twice a year.