NFL coaches might be deprived of their beloved routines, but they’re not giving up expectations.
For Dolphins coach Brian Flores, that means harkening back to a lesson from one of his New England mentors as he embarks on an offseason of change.
With so many new parts arriving in free agency, a new quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa, and heightened hopes in Miami, there would have been justification wanting to work overtime, and now he can’t work with his players at all.
That does not mean he’ll accept substandard football when football returns.
“It’s never my expectation that football is going to look sloppy,” Flores told Judy Battista of NFL.com. “Dante Scarnecchia (the former Patriots offensive line coach) walks out there every day and says, ‘Today, I’m going to coach me some well-played ball.’ And then he finishes it off after five seconds. ‘Or so we hope.’ ”
Hope is all football teams can sell at the moment, but it’s in good supply in South Florida, after they spent heavily in free agency on players Flores was familiar with and can make a difference. So the fact that he can’t work with his players in person isn’t anything he’s dwelling on.
“I guess I could get frustrated,” Flores said. “But really, what does that do? That would be a waste of energy. I try to direct my energy to things I can control. Right now, it’s how can I make these meetings as good as they can be, so guys can get as much information, and can make as many improvements as we can, given the circumstances? I’m not going to dwell on what it could be. Here are the cards we’ve been dealt, and let’s try to play this the best we can. All of it is new. All of it is not ideal. We wish as coaches we had total control over where they’re going to lift, what they’ll do for a run. It’s uncomfortable. Sometimes you’ve got to get comfortable being uncomfortable. That’s part of the game.”
For now, he’s going to have to trust his players to show up in shape when they arrive, and to be ready for a condensed offseason.
Expecting anything less would be unacceptable.
Brian Flores won’t accept sloppy football when football returns originally appeared on Pro Football Talk