Even though Black Monday came with the surprise firing of Dolphins coach Brian Flores, the expectation was he would still be a popular candidate in this hiring cycle.
As it turns out, the Chicago Bears are quick to pounce on an opportunity to talk shop:
After his surprise dismissal Monday, Flores is expected to be hot in this cycle. Chicago gets the first confirmed interview.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 11, 2022
NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero hears things are lining up for the Bears to interview Flores for the team’s head coaching vacancy. Per Pelissero, the Bears are the first team to reach out to interview Flores. That’s aggressive. And impressive, too. Seeing that it was a surprise to see Flores let go, I can’t imagine he was a realistic candidate for Chicago before his firing, so watching the team quickly pivot to setting up an interview is a nod to having flexibility in their coaching search. I dig it.
If you’ll recall, the Bears brass got an in-person look at Flores’ coaching style last summer. That’s when the team was hosting Miami for joint practices before the preseason opener. Perhaps Chicago’s remaining front office staffers and management types remember liking what they saw during those camps. At minimum, it’s nice to see that those things have even the slightest bit of payoff.
Brian Flores got to see Justin Fields in a couple of joint practices and in a preseason game
“If he continues to work the way I saw him work this week, I think he’ll be just fine… “He has a bright future if he keeps working”
— Brandon Carr (@bcarr_13) January 11, 2022
Flores, who turns 41 in February, put up back-to-back winning seasons in Miami. And even though the Dolphins were missing from the playoffs in each of the last two yers, throwing up consecutive winning campaigns highlights the turnaround job Flores did in the wake of the rubble left behind by Adam Gase. To go from losing 11 games in his first year to 19-14 in the next two is worth something. Plus there was some pretty clear development from young quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Hence, Flores figures to get more interview requests beyond the Bears’ inquiries.
To this point of the process, I’m very much into what the Bears are doing. They are casting a wide net in their sending out permission/interview requests to many of the brightest names in this coaching cycle. That there isn’t a GM in place to do the heavy lifting right now isn’t inconsequential, but don’t let it cloud your judgment of the situation. Chicago is doing right by lining up candidates now, so by the time a GM is in place, they won’t go into a coaching search blind. In the end, it’s always good to have background and a rapport with these candidates. Especially ones as decorated and highly sought after as the ones with current connections to the Bears.