Brian Flores’ class-action lawsuit shook the NFL world to its core. The former Miami Dolphins head coach revealed allegations of teams utilizing unfair hiring practices regarding Black and minority coaching candidates. While the lawsuit may or may not affect Flores’ candidacy for current vacancies, the 40-year-old Brooklyn, New York native is doing what he believes is right.
Flores has been receiving support from all over the football community. Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera supports the former Dolphins headman’s fight and suggests he should get another opportunity.
Ron Rivera believes Brian Flores deserves another opportunity in the NFL
Brian Flores made serious allegations of hiring misconduct against the Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, and Denver Broncos. It’s unclear how the class-action lawsuit will play out. However, many people in and around the NFL believe Flores deserves to be a head coach for another team.
Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera understands the body of work the former Dolphins coach has put together. He undoubtedly believes Flores warranted another head coaching gig.
“This is a very accomplished coach,” Rivera told ESPN‘s John Keim. “I can see the frustration, and I can feel the frustration. It’s almost as if this is your last resort. How does a guy like that get left out of the hiring cycle?”
The longtime NFL head coach argues that Flores’ resume makes him one of the top coaching candidates on the market.
“If you put his résumé — and took the name off and changed the team he coached for and grew up with — and put it on the table and looked at all the résumés, Brian Flores is the type of résumé you point at. Let’s judge on merit.”
The Washington Commanders head coach vouches for other Black coaching candidates
Ron Rivera is adamant that NFL teams should be hiring coaches based on merit alone, completely eliminating race or color from the discussion.
While he vouched for Brian Flores, the Washington Commanders coach also mentioned that several other Black and minority coaches deserve closer looks for the open vacancies around the league.
“Leslie Frazier is the type of résumé you point at,” Rivera said. “Eric Bieniemy is the type of résumé you point at. Why? Because of the merit. These guys deserve opportunities. They deserve a chance, and to me, that’s what the Rooney Rule stood for. It’s a chance to open the door and get your foot in, and then let merit speak for itself. That’s the issue here.”
The NFL initially implemented the Rooney Rule in 2003 to encourage equity within organizations’ hiring practices. It’s been 19 years, and the league still has a long way to go. Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers is currently the only Black head coach in the NFL.
Rivera would not be surprised if some of the allegations Flores presented were true. He believes the NFL and its owners have work to do to get to a level playing field.
“If we really take a step back and look at it,” Rivera said on CBS Mornings. “We would honestly say there are some things that we have to look even deeper into. We’ve got to make sure we make the right type of changes, so things are inclusive and we’re doing the things that are right for us.”
Inside Flores’ coaching resume
As Ron Rivera suggested, Brian Flores deserves another look based on his extensive coaching background.
Flores worked for the New England Patriots organization from 2004 to 2018. He started as a scout for four years before getting promoted to a special teams coach in 2008. The Boston College alum coached the defensive side of the ball in his last eight seasons with the team, specializing in safeties and linebackers.
Flores is one of the many coaches to come from the Bill Belichick coaching tree. His success in New England bolstered his resume and likely helped him land the head coaching gig with the Miami Dolphins.
Before Flores arrived in Miami, the Dolphins had posted losing records in three of the previous four seasons. The team seemingly brought the former Patriots coach in to right the ship. Miami finished 5-11 in the first season under Flores. However, the team surprised many people with a 10-6 finish in 2020.
The Dolphins weren’t the most talented team, but they flourished under Brian Flores’ leadership. Miami took a slight step back in 2021, posting a 9-8 record. Still, the team reeled off an impressive seven-game winning streak toward the end of the season. That’s what made his firing so shocking.
Flores’ resume speaks for itself. The NFL has recently seen coaches with lesser professional football pedigrees get jobs (Urban Meyer, Matt Rhule, etc.).
Brian Flores is still in the running for the openings with the New Orleans Saints and Houston Texans. His fate is uncertain, but he is willing to risk it all for change.