Miami Dolphins Head Coach Brian Flores has been on the receiving end of the traditional post-game Gatorade bath before, but never like the one he received on Saturday.
After Flores and his staff led the National team to a 27-24 win in the 2021 Reese's Senior Bowl, his players hoisted the cooler and doused the victorious coach. Much to Flores' surprise, the contents of that container were neither frigid, nor liquid, but rather a treasure trove of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.
"It was very different," Flores said. "I was expecting something cold."
Despite the piñata-like haul, Flores eschewed scooping up any of the chocolatey, peanut-buttery goodness.
"When you're at the Reese's Senior Bowl, by the end of the week you've probably had enough," he joked. "There's bags in your room, there's Reese's Pieces on the door handle, it's everywhere. I felt like I had enough in a long week – a lot of meetings, a lot of walkthroughs, a lot of practice, a lot of meetings with players. I probably gained a few pounds. I'm trying to head in the right direction starting today."
Flores' team got it going in the right direction early in the contest. After coaching the Dolphins defense to the fifth-fewest points allowed in 2020, Flores' National squad pitched a first-half shutout over the American team. The offense put a complementary bow on the win with big days from North Carolina running back Michael Carter and Louisville wide receiver Dez Fitzpatrick.
"(Carter) is a great kid. He's a hard-working kid. He's smart, he's tough," Flores said. "He was productive today, and he was really productive throughout the entire week. He played well. This is a guy who had a real nice career for UNC and he's a good back."
Carter ripped off a 27-yard run in the first quarter that demonstrated the balance and quickness Flores alluded to earlier in the week, but it was his pile-pushing touchdown run that stole the show.
With a handful of receivers unavailable for the National team, Fitzpatrick stepped up.
"We were a little bit low on receivers so that entire receiving group took a lot of snaps today," Flores said. "A couple of guys went out. We tell them durability and availability is key in this league and he was available today and able to capitalize on his opportunities."
A long week is in the books. With the NFL Scouting Combine as we know it taking on a different form in 2021 (click here to view all Scouting Combine changes), Flores spoke about the opportunity this week presented he and the entire Dolphins coaching and personnel staffs.
"It was great," he said. "We had a good week with these young players. They really worked hard. A lot of them made really good impressions not only on our staff but there were teams obviously from across the league. We got to spend the most time with them. I thought they did well for themselves then they came out and competed today, so I thought it was a good week."
"There were quite a few guys we felt like could help our team," Flores said. "I'm not going to dive into names or who those guys are, but there was a lot of talented players. I thought Jim Nagy and the Senior Bowl staff did a great job of getting talented players in here for us to coach."