June 17, 2021

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Hidden gems: Brian Flores, coach and scout, knows…

4 min read
Hidden gems: Brian Flores, coach and scout, knows...

DAVIE, Fla. — Every day of the past 15 years, Brian Flores has spent a portion of his afternoon perusing the NFL waiver wire. Even as the Miami Dolphins coach, Flores’ daily schedule mandates time spent watching players and yielding evaluations of them.

Flores loves the scouting aspect of the NFL, even while he’s diverging down the coaching path. As such, it isn’t a surprise that the Dolphins have players coming and going as Flores & Co. continually evaluate potential fits for this team in 2020 and beyond.

The search for future hidden gems — “acorns,” as former Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland used to call them — starts during the season. The efforts for the 2020 season have ramped up for the Dolphins in December, as they continue to secure talent. The Dolphins have made transactions involving 18 players over the past week, including adding three players on Tuesday.

Also of note, the Dolphins have played 74 players this season — most in the NFL in 2019 and most in franchise history. The league record is 78 players (Houston Texans, 2017). Miami’s roster includes seven newcomers, acquired over the past week off waivers or other teams’ practice squads, who have yet to play a game for Miami. It seems likely that the Dolphins will surpass that league record.

“I watch everybody. The guys we brought in, I watched them all, and we feel good about them,” Flores said. “Anyone we feel like can help us get better that we feel like has some developmental potential, we’ll look into it. We don’t make every move we could possibly make, but the ones that we think, feel like will help us, we try to make.”

“I watch a lot before I make a determination on what I think a guy can or cannot do. My process is a little different than I guess some other people.”

Flores, 38, began his NFL career as a scout with the New England Patriots in 2004, and his personnel background affects how he coaches his team. That four-year scouting stint helped shape his affinity for undrafted free agents (UDFAs) and players who have been cut from rosters. Flores often says those are the players who have a special urgency or chips on their shoulders.


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