Tag Archive for: Miami Dolphins

What Erik Ezukanma brings to the Miami Dolphins

With the 125th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins selected Texas Tech WR Erik Ezukanma.

The Miami Dolphins 2022 NFL Draft series continues with fourth round pick Erik Ezukanma

Round 3: Pick 102

Pre-draft

Initially in the draft process the Miami Dolphins were interested in Texas Tech WR Erik Ezukanma. During the NFL Combine, the Miami Dolphins had a formal interview with Ezukanma.

“Throughout the process, Miami did show a lot of interest and I had a formal (interview) with them at the NFL Combine. That’s where I got this hat. They just showed love throughout the process and for them to pick a spot with me, it was big.”

Erik Ezukanma on his pre-draft process with the Miami Dolphins

On Mike McDaniel’s evaluation of Erik Ezukanma, both he and Chris Grier liked him enough to draft him.

“It was exciting to watch him play and I think he fits the energy and the skill level that we’re looking for. We want guys to be fast and play fast and doing both with a decisiveness and a team-first passion that he bleeds. We’re excited to add him. That was the biggest thing, I saw a football player playing the receiver position.”

Mike McDaniel on Erik Ezukanma 

Scouting Report

Strengths

At 6-foot-2 and 209 pounds, Erik Ezukanma’s best ability in his toolkit is his contested catch ability. He’s goes above defenders and makes catches with defensive backs draped all over him.

The red raider product has the size, length, and strength to defeat press jams. Can make spectacular catches in the open field and when covered by defenders.

My favorite asset of Ezukanma and how Texas Tech preferred to use him. Ezukanma is built for breaking tackles after the catch. He looks like a power back when breaking away from tackles with his frame.

Another facet of his game is his versatility. At Texas Tech, Erik Ezukanma lined up mostly out wide; however, he was used plenty in motion, on screen plays, and swing passes as well as the occasional jet sweep.

“I’m a versatile guy. I feel like I can fit in right where Jaylen Waddle – the way he can take the ball out of the backfield as well as be a deep threat down the field, but also just a versatile guy with RAC ability and YAC ability – yards after contact and run after the catch. You can put me anywhere on the field and I feel like I can help the team in any situation.”

Erik Ezukanma describes his play style

Ezukanma’s hands are strong and among several NFL talents. However, with a revolving door of quarterbacks at Texas Tech Ezukanma had some drops that showed he was adjusting the other quarterbacks

Weaknesses

As mentioned above, a revolving door at quarterback and a coaching change was not ideal for Erik Ezukanma.

His production during the beginning of the season was red hot with 13 catches and 322 yards in his first two games.

The Texas Tech alum needs to improve his release package at the next level. He doesn’t gain enough separation on most of his routes, with the exception of the drag route over the middle.

Erik Ezukanma does not have enough route running ability which is needed for the NFL. Furthermore, while Texas Tech runs a spread concept, Ezukanma was used on scripted routes to maximize his usage and gain production.

There some inconsistencies at the top of his routes and when making adjustments in traffic, more so relying on his frame and contested catch ability to make plays on the ball.

Projection

The way in which Erik Ezukanma or “EZ” can simply pluck the football out of the air is ridiculous. There should not be any issues with his hands throughout his career and based on what he has shown on tape.

I expect Mike McDaniel to put Ezukanma in any position and let him work. His playstyle is very similar to Houston Texans wide receiver Nico Collins, who was also able to snag nearly every deep ball.

“That’s one of my strong suits. I feel like throughout my career I’ve really worked on contested catches, bang-bang plays. I feel like in the beginning of my career at Tech, that was one of the places I struggled at, but I gained more confidence with that and just getting bigger in the weight room, buying into the weight room and being able to make those contested catches even if a defender is on my back or hitting me at the same time. So I feel like that’s one of my high points of my game.”

Erik Ezukanma on his contested catch ability

Often, wide receivers are asked to block in Mike McDaniel’s offense. Ezukanma is more than willing as a blocker and should see an increase in snaps as the season progresses on run plays. Ezukanma has the size and strength to be an asset as a run blocker out on the edge.

In Miami,  he will be best served as a possession receiver that can work the middle of the field, a red zone target and a mismatch against defenders on motions, screens, and jet sweeps.

The modern day of NFL wide receivers is changing where wide receivers are more athletic than defensive backs. A weapon in any route or scenario that can make big plays, Ezukanma is just that.

Mike McDaniel will find a way to get Erik Ezukanma the football and let him eat.

 

Hussam Patel is a Miami Dolphins contributor and Lead NFL Draft analyst at Five Reasons Sports Network, Director of Scouting at PhinManiacs and Editor at Dolphins ATB. Follow him on Twitter at @HussamPatel

 

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What Channing Tindall brings to the Miami Dolphins

With the 102nd pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins selected Georgia linebacker Channing Tindall.

Pre-draft

The Miami Dolphins brought in Channing Tindall in a 30-visit. Overall, General Manager Chris Grier and the Dolphins brass were impressed with the Bulldog Product. 

Chris Grier cited his game speed, versatility, and character. 

“That character too, that part of him really stood out to me like, ‘Hey, this kid loves ball and wanted to be around his teammates and do anything he can to help them win.’ And it paid off. They won a national championship. We really enjoyed getting to know the kid. Specifically, the speed stands out on film on him.”

Chris Grier on Channing Tindall

Tindall on his pre-draft visit in Miami:

“I just really got in with the linebackers coaches. I talked to the whole staff and I felt like home, honestly, when I was there.”

New Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Tindall

Scouting Report

Strengths

Channing Tindall is a super fast and athletic linebacker that runs a 4.4 forty time.  He’s a sure fire tackler who always brings down the ball carrier

At 6-foot-2, Tindall may be a tad undersized but it does not show on film. The Georgia product is a hard hitter and flys by blockers blowing up run plays. Has surprising strength for his size. 

Channing Tindalls’ coverage skills are reminiscent of a big nickel, or strong safety in the slot position. He’s able to cover tight ends in press man and stick with faster running backs. 

In terms of Tindalls’ pass-rushing prowess, he has some natural pass rush moves. In high school, Tindall was an EDGE. He’s got fluid hips and nice lateral movement. 

He provides a good outside rush and is able to get around bigger offensive lineman with his blazing speed on the outside. Also, as a run defender, he takes good angles and pursues ball carriers. Very rarely do you see Channing Tindall out of position.

Weaknesses

Tindall was never able to secure a starting spot in the linebacker core behind Quay Walker and Nakobe Dean. 

While the Bulldog alum did see increases in production numbers his senior year, he barely even logged over 600 snaps over four years at Georgia. 

In such a talented collegiate defense, Tindall was rarely focused on as a weakness and that might have not shown how he does when teams target him. 

Routinely, as an “undersized” player he was pushed around when teams ran at him. A majority of his successful plays were when he was a chaser than in a blockers face.

However with such little snaps, the reps Channing Tindall played in, he made the most of his opportunities. Tindall was third on the team in tackles. 

Projection

Projecting how new Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Tindall will not be hard. 

Miami’s defensive philosophy asks their linebackers to play the run, rush the quarterback and occasionally be a spy in coverage. 

Channing Tindall has done all those things in his time at Georgia. 

“I think when you watch the film, it’s a very talented defense and how they use him – they use him as a spy, they use him to blitz, he covers backs. Just a lot of the ways that are kind of similar to how he will probably be used here in different schemes”

Chris Grier on how Channing Tindall was used in Georgia

Tindall is one of the fasted linebackers in this year’s class – he’s a player who covers like a safety and possesses serious tackling and hitting power.

It’s likely that Tindall will be used as an inside linebacker, but that’s not all he can do. Not only can he be a MIKE, he can also be on the outside as a SAM or WILL linebacker. 

“The way they use their linebackers is different. They use their linebackers everywhere, put them on the edge sometimes, put them on the line, they put them at Mike, Will. They are very versatile and I feel like I fit into it.”

Channing Tindall on the Dolphins Linebacker usage

It’s a solid selection to start of Mike McDaniels’ first ever draft as a head coach. Channing Tindall fills a need and brings more athletic talent and speed that the Miami Dolphins currently have and covet.

 

Hussam Patel is a Miami Dolphins contributor and Lead NFL Draft analyst at Five Reasons Sports Network, Director of Scouting at PhinManiacs and Editor at Dolphins ATB. Follow him on Twitter at @HussamPatel

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2022 NFL Draft Rumors

It’s the largest smokescreens NFL teams put out year after year. Many NFL Teams moves are a mystery as news is intentionally leaked out by the organizations themselves, truth or not.

The odds and news have changed dramatically over the last days as this years NFL Draft is truly the most unpredictable in years.

Here are some of the 2022 NFL Draft rumors and notes:

Deebo Samuel

League source confirms Deebo Samuel is not being traded at this time, which means a draft day move is unlikely for many teams hoping to get an electric player.

Top 10 news

Jacksonville Jaguars

Georgia EDGE rusher Travon Walker is garnering a lot of hype lately and the oddsmakers are betting on the Bulldog product to be taken first overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

I’ve had Aidan Hutchinson in several mock drafts to Jacksonville, but with rumors coming out, it may not be far fetched.

Schematically, it favors Walker than Hutchinson as Walker can play outside linebacker, standup EDGE and as an interior lineman. This help out K’Lavon Chaisson and Foye Olukun, compared to Hutchinson who is a hand in the dirt rusher.

Detroit Lions

A Malik Willis pairing in Detroit is all about the future. Willis can learn behind Goff as he needs the most development of any quarterback in this years 2022 NFL Draft class.

General Manager Brad Holmes is “looking” at the quarterback position and it might not be with the second overall pick.

It may come down to Aidan Hutchinson or Travon Walker to beef up the defensive trenches.

However, how much longer does Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers have left to play, the same may be said about Kirk Cousins.

The Chicago Bears still need some pieces and Justin Fields is still developing, drafting Willis may pay off in the future.

Houston Texans

Derek Stingley Jr. and the Texans have had connections for a while due to his former DB coach part of the Texans Coaching staff.

If Houston is all in on Davis Mills, building the trenches would be a better option with the third overall pick in the NFL Draft. In the latest mocks and with some news coming out, the Texans do have two offensive tackles in mind: Evan Neal and Ikem Ekonwu.

It’s a deep defensive class towards the backend of the draft, especially for defenders. The 2022 NFL Draft rumors have the trading back from the 13th overall pick.

New York Jets

I’ve heard that Robert Saleh is not a big Travon Walker fan. Also, Kyle Hamilton fourth overall would not fit with what the Jets defense is looking to build.

Ikem Ekonwu is a favorite of Jets General Manager Joe Douglas. Having another offensive lineman fortifies the the line for Zach Wilson and we may see shades of his BYU playing days.

Gang green will look to load up on offense by pairing Wilson arm with a big body wide receiver in the likes of Drake London. Jameson Williams is a possibility with the tenth overall selection.

Head Coach Robert Saleh may want to get better in the trenches on defense. If Kayvon Thibodeaux falls, it may be a tossup between him and Jermaine Johnson.

New York Giants

The 2022 NFL Draft rumor mill has it that the Giants may look to trade back a few spots to gain more value.

While General Manager Joe Schoen has hinted that the offensive line is a priority, they may forgo passing on a lineman for more pressing needs. An EDGE rusher, a deep class overall, is very much in play. Especially the top three in Thibodeaux, Walker, and Johnson.

If the Giants are comfortable at fifth and seventh overall Evan Neal and Charles Cross are targets. Big Blue has a big decision to make after the draft if they want to keep Daniel Jones for a fifth year, which does not seem likely.

Carolina Panthers

Carolina is a weird team this year. Considering the fact that they are heavily interested in a quarterback this year, Sam Darnold is still “the guy”.

They have the sixth pick and their next is in the fourth round. I highgly expect Carolina to select a quarterback with the physical tools of Matt Corral. Kenny Pickett seems like the logical choice– have Matt Rhule and co. made a logical decision recently?

Atlanta Falcons

Expect Terry Fontenet and the Falcons to after several EDGE rushers hard. I’ve heard Kayvon Thibodeaux is a favorite but Jermaine Johnsons skillset is very hard to pass up on.

Atlanta could be a dark horse for Malik Willis if he were to fall to the eighth pick, even if Kayvon Thibodeaux is on the board.

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle just seems so perfect for Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner.

They’ll have to re-build their defense and Sauce brings the moxie and physical play style Carroll wants in his defense.

However, recent draft history has shown that the Seahawks routinely trade back to garner more picks later on to fill needs. Offensive line is another deep position group in this years class.

Notes

Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia is on the market for cornerbacks and Trent McDuffie has been mocked routinely. The 2022 NFL Draft rumor mill has Kaiir Elam as the third or fourth corner picked, I would not be shocked if Kaiir Elam is picked up by the Eagles with their second first round pick.

The Eagles are also on the marke for an EDGE rusher, George Karlaftis has been a mainstay in several recent mock drafts. Although, another wide receiver for Jalen Hurts would not hurt, a potential trade up for Jameson Williams may be in play. Garrett Wilson could also be on the board.

Kyle Hamilton

Hamilton seems to be one of the most polarizing players in this draft cycle as he can do it all on the defensive side of the ball.

The range he showed on tape didn’t match the speed he showed in workouts; shockingly, to NFL teams it may matter. However, teams within the top 10 have other pressing needs than a safety.

The Washington Commanders and Houston Texans have been heavily linked to Kyle Hamilton in the 2022 NFL Draft rumors.

Running back in Round 1?

A new saying goes that you do not ever take a running back in the first round, there are differing opinions.

There’s been a recent trend of running backs devalued in the first round; however, it is situationally based.

The 2022 NFL Draft rumors has the Buffalo Bills circling around Iowa State’s Breece Hall as the first running back taken off the board. Pair with a lethal aerial attack in Orchard Park, the Bills may well be on their way back to the AFC Championship game.

Miami Dolphins

It’s quiet in south beach, a bit too quiet. It’s been an aggressive off-season for the Miami Dolphins and General Manager Chris Grier.

Grier talked about finding the right time to be aggressive in the off-season and the NFL Draft is a part of it.

With Miami only having four picks in this years draft a move up to grab a player they really like is a good possibility to complete a piece on either side of the ball.

 

Hussam Patel is a Miami Dolphins contributor and Lead NFL Draft analyst at Five Reasons Sports Network, Director of Scouting at PhinManiacs and Editor at Dolphins ATB. Follow him on Twitter at @HussamPatel

 

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Day 2 NFL Combine Takeaways

Day 2 of the 2022 NFL Scouting combine is in the books here are 3 takeaways from the second day of on-field workouts.

40 times (again)

Remember Thursday night at the scouting combine, when the receivers blew the roof off like they were on the racetrack?

It extended to Friday’s offensive line drills, when we saw a display of pure speed from Hog Mollies we’ve never seen before.

It’s as if monster trucks beat Dale Earnhardt Jr. by one-tenth of a second.

There were six offensive linemen with official sub-5.0 40 times in the first group, and six in the second. The previous record was six, and there were 11 sub-4.5 40-yard dashes overall in the last three combines.
Rutgers’ Isiah Pacheco and South Dakota State’s Pierre Strong tied for the fastest running back at the 2022 combine with 40 times of 4.37 seconds.
https://twitter.com/brgridiron/status/1499968529856188416?s=20&t=qqh9-WqPIMlqPs6QOBwK2A
Notre Dame’s Kyren Williams caught flak for his 4.7 40 yard dash time as many expected him to run faster.
https://twitter.com/DP_NFL/status/1500124754837131267?s=20&t=KZeswPrZHw85YSWx0Y-Ahg

However for RB’s there are more important factors and measurables at play than 40 times.

Zion Johnson’s Big Day

Zion Johnson played tackle and guard at Boston College, and then took reps at center during Senior Bowl week. Johnson has showcased his versatility and followed it up with a fantastic combine performance.

Few offensive linemen are as undersized like Johnson at 6-foot-3 and 312 pounds, but few had better combines than Johnson. He ran a 5.18 40-yard dash aced other drills, and looked very smooth and powerful on the field.

Johnson needed to show some athleticism to go with his play strength, and he took care of that admirably. He led all lineman with 32 bench press reps and showed off his movement in space with the wave drill

The Boston College product was showing an ability to create power without planting during on-field drills.

Johnson is an easy mover, and you can see how he’s able to gain power and efficiency from that. He has separated himself as one of the top interior offensive linemen.

James is Cooking

In today’s league, top running backs threaten defenses on third down with their receiving skills, and NFL teams loved what they saw in James Cook on Friday.

Cook ran a 4.42 40 times and made seamless cuts with the ball in his hands during the on-field drills. He looked natural in space, secured all of his passes and caught the ball with his soft hands like a natural receiver.

At Georgia, Cook only logged 230 carries, so he doesn’t have mileage on him; however, he can project as a featured ball-carrier primed to log 15-plus carries a game.

Furthermore, Cook can become a matchup nightmare on crucial downs either in the slot or on short routes in the middle of the field.

*** This article was originally posted at ATB Network***
Hussam Patel is a Miami Dolphins contributor at Five Reasons Sports Network, Director of Scouting at PhinManiacs and Editor at Dolphins ATB. Follow him on Twitter at @HussamPatel

Day 1 NFL Combine Takeaways

Day 1 of the 2022 NFL Scouting combine is in the books here are the 3 takeaways from the first day of on-field workouts.

40 times

The first night of on-field workouts was a speed thrill. In a city that celebrates speed with Indy cars , the wide receivers at the NFL scouting combine matched a record Thursday that would have NASCAR opening their eyes.

The group of pass catchers left dust, as the eight sub-4.4 clockings tied the most by the wide receivers at the combine in any year evaluated since 2006.

Tyquan Thornton had the only official time under 4.3, as Tennessee wide receiver Velus Jones Jr., had the second fastest official clocking at 4.31.

Many unofficial times had to be changed and chatter around the league was this years class of pass catchers is the fastest in NFL History OR the 40 times were off

Kenny Pickett’s Hand Size

It is hands-down the most critiqued quality attached to NFL quarterback prospects each year.

As a potential first round pick, Pickett‘s hand size has been scrutinized heavily. His hands officially measured in at 8 1/2″ at the NFL Combine. This makes Pickett’s hands the smallest of any quarterback in the NFL.

“The reason I didn’t measure at the Senior Bowl was just to have those extra couple weeks, just kind of a commonsense thing, to have more time working the exercises…Whatever it measures, it measures, I’m sure that won’t be the end of it, but that will be the last measurement I’m sure I’ll take of it.”

Kenny Pickett

According to ESPN Stats & Information data, average hand size for quarterbacks taken in the first round from 2008 to 2020 is 9 7/10 inches.

Christian Watsons big day

Watson won the day at the receiver position. He’s 6-4 and 210 pounds, one of the most sizable receivers in this class.

He ran 4.36 with a 38.5-inch vertical jump and an 11-foot, four-inch broad jump, one of the longest in combine history.

“He’s a special dude. You can see that just physically, how big he is, how fast he is. Great person to be around, obviously one of my closest friends. Someone that helped me get to where I am right now. I wouldn’t be here without Christian.”

Trey Lance on Christian Watson

I wrote about Christian Watson last summer and how the Miami Dolphins should take a chance on him.

Now, I’m not sure if Watson lasts till the end of the 2nd round, he’s highly thought off in league circles.

*** This article was originally posted at ATB Network***

Hussam Patel is a Miami Dolphins contributor at Five Reasons Sports Network, Director of Scouting at PhinManiacs and Editor at Dolphins ATB. Follow him on Twitter at @HussamPatel

2022 NFL Scouting Combine Preview

The NFL Combine kicks off on March 1st and ends on March 7th. The 2022 NFL Combine will take place in Lucas Oil Stadium. 

NFL Network will be covering the 2022 NFL Combine:

  • March 3rd: quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends from 4 p.m. ET to 11 p.m. ET 
  • March 4th: running backs, offensive linemen and special teams from 4 pm. ET to 10 p.m. ET 
  • March 5th: Five hours of live coverage of defensive linemen and linebackers from 4 p.m. ET to 9 p.m. 
  • March 6th: Five hours of live coverage of defensive backs from 2 p.m. ET to 7 p.m. ET 

What it is

The 2022 NFL Scouting Combine allows prospects to participate in on-field drills in front of NFL evaluators. Additionally, prospects have the opportunity to interview with NFL teams.

There are around 324 total combine participants ranging from SEC powerhouses to FCS and HBCU players. 

Analysis

The NFL combine is the biggest draft-centric event of the year. A year after its full cancellation, the NFL combine is returning this year but the National Invitational Camp planned to implement several COVID-19 protocols, including a “bubble.” 

However, The NFL Combine is lifting bubble restrictions shortly after the news that player agents were organizing a boycott.

Most prospects train for the NFL Combine right after the season ends. Each prospect has a team of nutritionists, agents, and trainers- to help them with their testing, nutrition, training and even sleep schedule.

Training for the combine is no joke as it is the biggest interview of prospects lives.

It may be entertaining for fans and media alike to enjoy the testing events such as the 40 yard dash and even the bench press. NFL teams view the medical evaluations as the most vital aspect of the combine.

These medical evaluations are critical in decision making for NFL teams. At times if a player fails the evaluation it may knock them off a teams board or may even shatter their dreams of playing in the NFL.

Interviews with NFL team evaluators is the second most important part of the combine process. It’s a rare opportunity for scouts, coaches, and general managers to get to know players in a one-on-one format. 

This allows players to understand what teams are looking for in them and teams to really pick a prospects brain and see if they can be a cultural fit within their organization.

Prospects see a volatile change in their training regimen for the NFL Combine. The Combine itself has a different structure compared to how players train.

Players are in a new uncomfortable environment which interferes in how they go about doing things. It’s not an optimal environment that will translate into testing numbers they usually hit.

Furthermore, it’s why teams go to prospects pro days. Pro days are similar to the NFL combine except colleges host it for their players. This allows prospects to be comfortable in familiar circumstances to put their best foot forward.

Pro days are essentially structured by college training staffs where players know the surface they are working on. In short, players create the workout during pro days where the combine creates the work for them.

Conclusion

For many of us in the draft world, analysts don’t “trust” the pro day testing numbers as they want to see how prospects react to different environments as it translates to prospects figuring out things in the league and on game days.

Agents of prospects sometimes tell them to forgo the combine testing and do the medical testing and interviews with teams. Teams still take into account pro day numbers and can use their evaluation criteria to better judge players.

 

*** This article was originally posted at PhinManiacs***

 

Hussam Patel is a Miami Dolphins contributor at Five Reasons Sports Network, Director of Scouting at PhinManiacs and Editor at Dolphins ATB. Follow him on Twitter at @HussamPatel

Dolphins hire Jon Embree to assist Mike McDaniel

Jon Embree has been hired as the tight ends coach and assistant head coach of the Miami Dolphins.

 

 

This past Sunday, the Miami Dolphins hired 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel as their new Head Coach. 

 

Embree follows Mike McDaniel to South Florida to coach a TE group consisting of rookie 3rd round pick Hunter Long and Adam Shaheen

 

 

Mike Gesicki and Durham Smythe are Free Agents, unless Miami retains one or both of them. 

 

Embree first made his mark on the NFL in 2006 as a Tight End coach with the Kansas City Chiefs. There he coached Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez who led the league in 20007 and 2008 in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns. 

 

He then joined the formerly known Washington Redskins in 2010 where TE Chris Cooley ranked 2nd in TE receptions. He also helped Jordan Cameron reach the Pro Bowl in 2013 as Cameron ranked 2nd in receiving yards (917). 

 

In 2016 with Tampa Bay, Embree helped TE Cameron Brate establish career highs in in receptions (57) yards (660) and touchdowns (8) which tied most in the NFL among tight ends. 

 

 

From 2017-2021, George Kittle was developed under Embree who helped him earn All-Pro honors, 49ers franchise records for tight ends, PFWA All-NFL and All-NFC and was selected as a starter in the Pro Bowl multiple times. 

 

 

Embree has played in college and been in the NFL for 12 years and brings an experienced mind in the offensive room and help develop talented tight ends in Miami.

 

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Brian Flores is filing a lawsuit against the Dolphins and the entire NFL

Brian Flores files lawsuit against Dolphins, Giants, NFL

The Miami Dolphins once again find themselves in the middle of a scandal. Late Tuesday afternoon, reports were confirmed that former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores is suing the NFL in a federal class-action racial discrimination lawsuit.

Per the lawsuit, owner Stephen Ross is at the center of the issues in Miami. Flores alleges that Ross offered 100k per loss incurred in 2019.  Also, Flores calls Ross out for trying to make him violate league tampering rules to recruit an elite level QB to Miami. That quarterback is – according to reports by the Palm Beach Post’s Joe Schad – Tom Brady. Brady, obviously, went on to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers instead.

Beyond the Dolphins, Flores implicates the Giants and the Broncos. The lawsuit alleges that the New York Giants had already chosen Brian Daboll as their head coach before Flores had the chance to interview for the job. Texts from New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick are cited, congratulating Flores for earning the job when the texts were intended for Daboll.

As for the Broncos, Flores states that then-GM John Elway and President Joe Ellis arrived an hour late to the interview, extremely hungover. This indicated to Brian Flores that the Broncos never took him as a serious candidate before they hired Vic Fangio, who is white.

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Flores was still considered a finalist for the Houston Texans job before filing this lawsuit. In doing so, he may have destroyed any potential he had to coach in the NFL again, as he may be viewed as a pariah now. However, Flores soon issued a statement after the news broke, stating he understands the implications. He is also prepared for any potential consequences.

Flores’s lawsuit could rock the NFL to its very core. This will undoubtedly lead to an investigation and many, many lawyers will be involved given the seriousness of the implication. Reports are coming out that other minority coaching candidates could potentially join Flores in his cause. They can testify their own experiences in interviewing for jobs. Jobs they knew they would not get.

This sort of situation is precisely what the Rooney Rule – which mandates that all NFL teams must interview at least one minority candidate for job openings – was supposed to prevent. However, it seems to have only exacerbated the issue.

Naturally, the accused parties are pushing back against the accusations. The Miami Dolphins issued a statement refuting Flores’s claims against them.

The New York Giants and the NFL as a whole sent out similar statements.

From a broader standpoint, the entire NFL will have its hands full for the foreseeable future. Many have accused the NFL for not seriously considering minority candidates for decades. Now, this lawsuit will put the league under an uncomfortable microscope.

This situation will be watched carefully over the coming weeks.  It is yet to be determined how potential coaches or even players will respond to this scandal.

Luis Sung has covered the Miami Dolphins for numerous outlets such as Dolphins Wire for seven years. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung

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Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores has been fired

BREAKING: Miami Dolphins fire coach Brian Flores

In a stunning turn of events, the Miami Dolphins fired head coach Brian Flores one day after the franchise secured back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2002-2003. Jay Glazer of Fox Sports speculated that Flores could be on the hot seat after failing to make the playoffs. He also stated that the franchise would be very short-sighted to do so.

Now, they have done so.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington, the firing has nothing to do with the recent availability of Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh. In fact, Darlington claims the Dolphins aren’t even looking at Harbaugh to be Flores’s replacement. Instead, the firing has much more to do with the fact that Flores’s relationship with owner Stephen Ross and GM Chris Grier rapidly deteriorated over the course of the season.

Reports did periodically arise from various sources that Flores was difficult to work with. He has a tendency to come across as the smartest guy in the room, and that attitude sometimes grated on people. Also, reports indicate Flores was fired after refusing to comply with a request to make changes to his coaching staff.

On the other hand, Flores knew how to motivate his players. After going on a 7-game losing streak, he managed to turn the team around and put them on a 7-game winning streak. Unfortunately, he couldn’t lead them over the must-win game against the Tennessee Titans. That knocked them out of the playoffs.

Darlington also reports that the relationship between Tua Tagovailoa and Brian Flores had deteriorated. It got so bad, they did not speak to each other. It was obvious that Flores did not trust Tagovailoa. So, essentially, the decision to fire Flores is an implied commitment to Tagovailoa.

Brian Flores went 24-25 as Miami’s head coach, and he will likely be a very strong candidate for one of the other openings around the league. If he doesn’t become a head coach, he will definitely be a defensive coordinator. Now, the Dolphins will spend the beginning of this offseason looking for someone to fill that void.

Luis Sung has covered the Miami Dolphins for numerous outlets such as Dolphins Wire for seven years. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung

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Duke Johnson has a decision to make about being in Miami

Dolphins hoping to retain former Miami Hurricanes star Duke Johnson

Back in 2012-2014, the Miami Hurricanes found a superstar running back by the name of Duke Johnson. He lit up the University of Miami, made fans chant out his first name in dramatic fashion as he ran for 1,652 yards in his final season there.

It took seven years, but Johnson finally found his way back home. After being drafted in the 3rd round of the 2015 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns, Johnson was used mostly as a scatback, more valued for his ability to catch passes than running the ball. Eventually he wound up in Houston, and after two seasons there, he agreed to sign on with the Dolphins.

It didn’t take long for him to pick up where he left off.

He ran for 107 yards in Week 15 against the New York Jets, his first time playing in Hard Rock Stadium as the home team since his UM days, and the crowd again chanted his name.

“It just reminded me of college,” he said after that game. “It felt like my college days again. Definitely enjoyed it.”

Johnson repeated the performance in the final week of the season against the New England Patriots, rushing 22 times for 117 yards and a touchdown. Again the chants rang out, and now the Miami Dolphins have a decision to make.

Do they keep Duke Johnson home in Miami?

“Me staying here? Like you said, it’s my home,” Johnson said after the game. “If I didn’t have to leave home, I wouldn’t.”

Naturally, after the performances he’s put together wearing aqua and orange, it seems a no-brainer that the Miami Dolphins should try to keep Johnson around. He’s looked far and away like the best running back on the team.

“I’m hoping that it does.” Johnson said about getting to come back next season. “How confident I am? I really don’t know. I really can’t say because again, it’s above my pay grade. But for me just having an opportunity to come back and play.”

According to Five Reasons Sports Network sources, the Miami Dolphins want to keep Duke Johnson around for at least another one more season, and have already expressed that to him. But Johnson, while staying in Miami would be an ideal situation, hasn’t committed to doing so just yet. Those sources say that Johnson is expecting interest elsewhere, and intends to explore all his options before he simply decides to return to Miami.

Again, his desire to stay home is genuine. But Johnson wants to explore his options to find a situation that will allow him the best chance for success. If he decides that’s in Miami, expect him back. If he sees a better opportunity elsewhere, Miami may have to throw a little extra incentive at him.

Miami still has Myles Gaskin and Gerrid Doaks on the roster. They can also try to retain Phillip Lindsay if Johnson opts to leave. Miami should also heavily consider finally addressing the position in a meaningful way in the draft.

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Make no mistake, the Dolphins want to keep Johnson, and they should. But Johnson wants to see what options he has available before he plants his roots back in Miami.

Luis Sung has covered the Miami Dolphins for numerous outlets such as Dolphins Wire for seven years. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung

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Everything Tradeshows is a one-stop-shop for trade show exhibit rentals and custom exhibit display purchase solutions to companies of all sizes.

Visit them at everythingtradeshows.com or call 954-791-8882