Miami Dolphins Transcripts – November 26 – Head Coach Brian Flores

Head Coach Brian Flores

(Opening statement) – “I just want to send condolences to the Cowboys (and) Markus Paul’s family. (It was a) really sad day yesterday and throughout the league. Markus Paul, he was just a fantastic human being. I just hope his family takes comfort in knowing that he impacted a lot of people in a very positive way – players, coaches, just people in general. This was as kind-hearted and genuine a person as I’ve been around. He certainly had an impact on me and it’s a big loss for the league, so condolences to his family and the Cowboys. I just pray for comfort for his family.”

(I was curious, QB Tua Tagovailoa showed up on the injury report yesterday with that throwing hand injury. It was reported that it was something minor that happened in practice. Is that report accurate?) – “He got banged up a little bit. He’s a tough kid. He’s going to do everything he can from a treatment standpoint, so we’ll see. I don’t think this is something that we’re too, too worried about. I think we’re just going to continue to treat it. As far as how accurate the report is, yeah, he got dinged up in practice. He’s getting treatment and it’s better today, so we’ll see how it goes.”

(My question is I wanted to know what G/T Robert Hunt’s development in terms of when he plays, how much has it sped up his development?) – “I think any time you get experience in-game, you develop. That’s everyone. That’s players, it’s coaches, it’s officials, it’s chain crew, it’s everybody. So I think playing, that’s the best way to really improve. You get experience of it and feel the speed and the aggressiveness of a defensive lineman in his case, seeing secondary pressures – different pressures than he maybe sees from us – corners coming, safeties coming. So I think he’s definitely improved as a well as a lot of our young players offensively, defensively and in the kicking game. Playing helps for sure.”

(Linebackers Coach Anthony Campanile seems to be one of the most enthusiastic coaches on your staff. I don’t know if you’ve followed along, but I’ve been asking him a bunch of food questions and questions about himself throughout the season. Just what can you say about his energy and what he’s brought to coaching staff, especially with taking on a bigger role in the last couple weeks since when you guys were out with those coaches in the COVID protocol?) – “Yeah, ‘Camp’ (Anthony Campanile) is a good young coach. We’ve got a lot of good young coaches on this team, and yeah, he brings a lot of juice and enthusiasm. I think any time you can bring energy to the team, that’s always a good thing. It’s a tough sport. It’s demanding. We ask a lot of the players, so we try to tell the coaches if there’s any way you can make it fun, then feel free. ‘Camp’ does a good job and we’re happy to have him on the staff, as well as everyone on the staff. I think all of these guys work hard. It’s important to them and they do their best to try to put the players in positions to have success. I think we’re no different than the players. This is his first year in the National Football League, so to the previous question, every game is experience for him and other guys who haven’t coached in this league. A lot of our guys have college experience. Honestly, hearing some of those things that they did, whether it was at Michigan with ‘Camp’ or Cal with ‘G.A.’ (Gerald Alexander) or West Virginia with Robby Brown; just hearing some of the things they did when they were in college, I’m open to all of those suggestions so it’s been good.”

(I wanted to ask you about leadership. I’m writing a story about leadership for this weekend and obviously it’s something that’s very important in coaching. I guess as much as you can sum it up, why can a leader be the difference between a good franchise and a bad franchise?) – “Can you say that question again? I didn’t catch all of it.”

(I’m just curious why can a good leader at the top of the organization be the difference between a successful franchise and one that’s not successful?) – “I don’t think it’s ever about one person, not in football at least. I think it’s about a collection of people – ownership, head coach, GM, assistant coaches, players, equipment. It’s a team game on the field. Honestly I think it’s a team game from an organizational standpoint, as well, so I think we need leadership from everybody. I can’t begin to tell you what goes on in the equipment room, what goes on from a field crew standpoint; but I do know that if we don’t have leadership from a grounds crew standpoint, we can’t go out there and practice because we won’t have lines and numbers and things of that nature. I think you need leadership across the board. I think (Chairman of the Board and Managing General Partner) Steve Ross and (Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer) Tom Garfinkel and (General Manager) Chris (Grier); I think we – myself – we try to as much as we can, encourage leadership and let guys do their jobs across the board. I’m not going to sit here and tell (Equipment Manager) Joe Cimino how we should set up locker rooms on the road. I wouldn’t know the first thing about that. I could probably come up with some ideas, but they’d probably be wrong because I’ve never done it. So to answer your question, I don’t ever think it’s about one person. I think once you start going down the ‘one person is the end-all be-all,’ you just can’t. One person can’t do everything in a football organization. There’s just too many things going on from personnel to equipment to training to nutrition to medical. What we can do is encourage leadership and let everyone be, let’s call it the head coach in their area. So (Wide Receivers Coach) Josh Grizzard is the head coach of the receivers and (Head Athletic Trainer) Kyle Johnston is the head coach of the training room and medical department and so on and so forth. And we try to encourage that leadership and let those guys lead in their respective realms and trust that they’re going to do a good job, and I think our job and the job from an ownership standpoint is to have a vision for how we want things done and express that vision and then trust that guys will try to put that vision in action. Long-winded answer to – I’m not sure if that gets to what you were looking for.”

(I wanted to ask you the issues you were having on the offensive line. I know you’ve got G/T Jesse Davis in the protocol, and G Solomon Kindley with the foot. Your philosophy has always been to start the top five and figure out how to make that chemistry work. How much has the C/G Michael Deiter and the T Julién Davenport and T Adam Pankey been cross-trained to play every position, and how comfortable are you with them I guess filling in on the right side, considering Deiter was last year’s left guard?) – “The good news is that those guys have played. They’ve played together, so from a communications standpoint, the only thing we are missing is really game snaps with that group. But there’s been plenty of practice snaps between Deiter, Davenport and Pankey and (Ted) Karras and (Ereck) Flowers and Austin (Jackson) and (Robert) Hunt. There is plenty of – let’s call it practice snaps between that group. Obviously Deiter and Davenport have experience starting games in this league. They started a lot of games last year. Again, you’re right, we are going to put the best five out there. I also have confidence in those guys that because of the way they’ve prepared, the way they’ve practiced and the experience they have, if we put them in, I have confidence that the wheels won’t fall off. It’s a hard-working group; but at the end of the day, we play a tough opponent this week. They play good defense and we have to execute. That’s everybody. Obviously the offensive line is a big part of that. That’s where our focus is. It’s on the Jets, and this week’s preparation and trying to be at our best on Sunday on offense, defense and special teams.”

(Is there a concern at this particular time that QB Tua Tagovailoa might not be available for the Jets game?) – “I don’t think we’re at that point yet. He’s getting treatment, he’s rehabbing. We’ll see how this goes. It’s sore but he’s a tough kid. He’s played through some things before. We’re not at that point yet. We’re just going to take this one day at a time, which is how we deal with all injuries, situations, COVID. We just take it one day at a time. It’s 2020. I think I’ve said this time and time again, I think we all have to be ready to adjust and be flexible, and have contingency plans ready if this happens, if that happens. This is just part of that. We’re not at that point. We’ll take this one day at a time, he’ll rehab and if he can go he’ll go. We’ll see how he feels today. We’ll see how he practices today. We’ll have a better feel this afternoon. You guys will be eating turkey and you’ll ask me about it tomorrow. (laughter)”

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