Pros and cons to Saints potentially hiring Brian Flores
By Kristen Wong
As the New Orleans Saints finalize their search for a new head coach, we take a look at Brian Flores as a worthy candidate.
Flores was fired after three seasons with the Miami Dolphins and interviewed with the team on Feb. 1. Afterward, Mickey Loomis publicly praised Flores as an “impressive” candidate and noted that the team takes all of its head coach interviews seriously.
If hired by NOLA, what are Brian Flores’ pros and cons?
Pros of Saints hiring Brian Flores as next head coach
Many around the league scratched their heads when they found out the Dolphins were firing Brian Flores. At 40 years old, Flores had risen to become a respected head coach who helped Miami drastically turn its season around in 2021.
The Dolphins finished 9-8 this past season but won eight of their last nine games. Flores has never made the playoffs with the Dolphins, with the closest being a 10-7 record in 2020 in which Miami barely missed out on a Wild Card berth.
Still, a winning franchise isn’t built in a day, and it seemed like Flores was putting the Dolphins on the right track.
A very unimpressive Dolphins squad improved under Flores’ tutelage, especially on the defensive side of the ball: Miami finished first in the league in takeaways in 2020 and eighth in 2021.
Flores posted a 24-25 record in three seasons in Miami, but his ability to extract the most out of his players could help the Saints next season.
NOLA’s defense remains one of the best in the league, and Flores may have his work cut out for him in the offense, but his leadership qualities suggest Flores would be a pillar of stability for a currently identity-less Saints team.
Cons of Saints hiring Brian Flores as next head coach
Flores would be arriving at NOLA at a very different period than when he arrived at Miami. Whereas Miami was in dire need of a rebuild, the Saints have a core offense and defense that could make them playoff-bound this season.
For that reason, Flores may not have the seasoned experience of fine-tuning an already proficient roster.
During his time in Miami, he also didn’t make great draft choices, albeit that shouldn’t fall on him entirely. The Dolphins have held six first-round picks since Flores joined the team, and while Miami has budding stars in Jaylen Waddle and Christian Wilkins, they’ve also badly swung and miss.
Tua Tagovailoa remains a huge unknown, and under Flores he hasn’t turned into a very reliable much less franchise-worthy quarterback. Working with a middling quarterback will likely be in the cards for the Saints this season; if the Saints re-sign Jameis Winston, for example, Flores will have the very challenging task of reining in Winston’s turnover-prone plays. Based on Tua’s performances last year, it’s hard to say if Flores can keep Winston in check.
As with all coaches, Flores brings both valuable assets and weaknesses to the table. Stay tuned for the Saints’ ultimate decision.