INDIANAPOLIS – General Manager Chris Grier and Head Coach Brian Flores spoke at the scouting combine in Indianapolis on Wednesday. Here were some of the comments that stood out, along with some perspective:
“We feel good about a lot of our players. We’re going to try to add more pieces to the puzzle and have the best product out there possible.”
— Flores explained that before coming to Indianapolis or diving head-first into the prospects for the upcoming draft it always helps to have a good grasp of the current roster and where it stands in terms of strengths and weaknesses. It’s a big part of what Flores and his staff have been doing since he became Dolphins head coach.
“We're focused on 2019. That process started when I got off the plane and touched down in Fort Lauderdale. We're moving forward."
— Flores believes he’d be doing a disservice to his current players if he concerned himself too much with what happened last year. This response came when he was asked about some of the issues the Dolphins had on defense in 2018.
“I'm very confident in his ability as a play-caller. But it's a collaborative effort. It really is. Having done it for a year, I know it's not just one person making the call.”
— Flores explained his decision to have defensive coordinator Patrick Graham be the defensive play-caller, which is what Flores himself did last year in New England. Flores said he has the utmost respect for Graham, pointing out his intelligence and his Yale background.
“He’s just earned everything as an intern running to get coffee every day to being part of one of the greatest defensive performances of the Super Bowl, and now he’s the head coach of our organization.”
— Grier said one of the qualities he liked about Brian Flores was his ability to persevere and deal with adversity and obstacles, and it’s also something he’ll be looking for when he starts talking to prospects this week in Indianapolis. That perseverance means something when adversity hits during an NFL season or a game, and the Dolphins want to have players who’ll fight through things.
“Just hanging around him, he wants to be a Miami Dolphin and we want him to be a Dolphin.”
— Grier said he was looking forward to cornerback Xavien Howard being a key part of the roster again in 2019. Howard has one year left on the rookie contract he signed after being a second-round pick in the 2016 NFL draft.
“I think I want Brian to be Brian, so whatever he feels works we’re all on board for that. For me and for Brian as well it’s hiring good people that are really good at their jobs and just taking those ideas and whatever works best for the organization we’ll do.”
— This is what Grier said when he was asked whether he was looking for Flores to try to replicate what happened in New England based on the hiring of assistant coaches with the former ties to the Patriots. As Grier pointed out, recent key hired have come from different places as well, such as front office executives Reggie McKenzie (from Oakland) and Marvin Allen (from Kansas City and Buffalo) as well as assistant head coach/quarterbacks Jim Caldwell (from Indianapolis and Detroit). The bottom line is the Dolphins always are looking to add quality people, regardless of their previous places of employment.