The More We Hear About Brian Flores, the Smarter the Miami Dolphins’ Decision To Fire Him Looks

After Austin Jackson signed a three-year extension to remain with the Miami Dolphins, he discussed what life was like under Brian Flores in his first two years.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Thursday was perhaps the best day of Miami Dolphins tackle Austin Jackson’s professional career.

The franchise that made him the 18th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft rewarded four years of perseverance and improvement with a three-year contract worth up to $39 million.

Jackson has earned every penny of that deal. For the first time in his career, he’s a top-tier right tackle and a player that the Dolphins cannot afford to lose.

It’s a great — and almost unbelievable — story, particularly given what key (now departed) members of the organization not just thought about him but said about him in front of his peers.

Austin Jackson News Reveals More About Ex-Miami Dolphins Coach Brian Flores

While Jackson and Tua Tagovailoa did not name names, it doesn’t take much sleuthing to find out who they meant when discussing feedback the very young offensive lineman got from the team’s prior coaching staff.

“I just smile because of where he’s come from early when we got here together,” Tagovailoa said Thursday.

“There’s a lot of things that’s been said about him, in the front of team meetings, you know, and, you know, and the media and things like that.”

When asked to clarify that he meant the prior coaching staff — which was led by the very intense Brian Flores — Tagovailoa replied:

“Not this year, past years. It’s awesome. It’s truly remarkable to sit in those meetings, have things told about you that you know aren’t true, but they get planted in your head, and you have the media on you as well.”

Asked about Tua’s comments a short time later, Jackson confirmed them.

“You know, I’m the fifth tackle taken in the first round, first-round draft pick,” Jackson said. “I had high expectations. So, I had high expectations. Every time I didn’t perform, it was noted and highlighted. It was very much so highlighted, to say the least.

“But that just made me a better football player at the end of the day. Very tough. I understand this is football, and there’s certain things that are, you know, done in football.”

Kudos to Jackson for not completely burying Flores, but the truth is he didn’t become a better football player until Mike McDaniel — who radiates positivity — came aboard.

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McDaniel arrived in Miami in the winter of 2022 prepared to give Jackson, Tagovailoa, and every other returning Dolphins player a clean slate.

Here’s how McDaniel said he approached the task of building back up a player in Jackson who had been beaten down by the previous staff:

“It’s great to be picked in the first round as a 20-year-old. Awesome. There’s also a lot of burden with that. In that, every person that gets drafted every year in the first round — I know one thing they don’t want to be. Everybody wants to be their best.

“So then you look at the film, and you match it with the person that you’re meeting. I think it’s important to treat every individual with full trust because I’m tough enough if they break trust. You treat them with full trust and give them the opportunity.

“Don’t harbor past things against people that have nothing to do with those things. To me, this guy is playing multiple positions, and he started doing it before he legally could drink alcohol. That’s a ton of weight, and then you have a lot of people talking. Heavy is the crown, as they say.

“You just have a lot of people interjecting on what you are. I don’t know about you guys, but were you a finished product at 20 years old? A 20-year-old Coach McDaniel, you should take the reins away from me as the head coach because I’m not ready for that. I was more meeting him, understanding where his motivation was, and the yearning just to be coached. Who am I to put a ceiling on that or to say, he is this, that, or the other?”

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