The departure of Brian Flores from the Miami Dolphins was far from quiet. After three years with many ups and downs - he led Miami to consecutive winnings seasons for the first time since 2003 but failed to make it into the playoffs - the NFL was shocked to learn Flores' firing in December.
Even though the Dolphins were expected to take a step forward in 2021, they fell incredibly short of expectations with a 1-7 start and not even their seven wins in a row were enough to save the season. And, in the end, it cost Flores his job.
However, a lot has happened since then, with the former Bill Belichick assistant suing the NFL alleging discrimation in interview processes and his firing by Dolphins. But many other things have been said about Flores' departure from Miami, for instance, that one of the reasons behind his firing was a bad relationship with Tua Tagovailoa.
Brian Flores addresses rumors of bad relationship with Tua at Dolphins
One of the biggest complaints against Flores had to do with how he handled the quarterback situation. In Tua's rookie year, Ryan Fitzpatrick was named the starting QB before the Alabama Crimson Tide product was suddenly sent into the field halfway through the season and was benched again when things didn't go well.
In the following offseason, rumors about a trade for Deshaun Watson were all over the news. To make things worse, Tua got injured early in the season and the Fins got off to a weak start. In the days after Flores' firing, it was said that he didn't get along with the quarterback. However, the former Patriots assistant cleared the air on this matter in the next episode of I Am Athlete podcast.
“This is an interesting topic, because it wasn’t strained," Flores said about his relationship with Tua in the episode's trailer, as quoted by Pro Football Talk. "We had a good relationship. It was a player-coach relationship. And I think in a relationship like that, you know, the coach challenges the player. And oftentimes the player challenges the coach. And I think there was a great deal of respect between the two of us.
"So you hear these crazy kind of — this narrative that’s out there. But this is a young man who works, who developed and got better over two years and, you know, I think he’s got, you know, a bright future. I wish him all the best... So the world can think what it wants to think. I think — ask Tua, you know? I’m here to say what I gotta say, and you can ask him. So, I think he’d say the same thing.”
Flores' exit from Miami has been quite problematic, not only he sued the NFL for alleged discrimation in the hiring processes and his firing but he also said that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered him money to lose games on purpose. It remains to be seen how the investigation unfolds, but he made clear that his problem was not with Tua Tagovailoa as many people said.