Dolphins hoping to hire Flores as next coach

Jeff Darlington explains why the Dolphins hope to hire Patriots LB Coach Brian Flores as their next head coach. (1:10)

The Miami Dolphins concluded their interview process for a new head coach Friday — and the candidate they intend and hope to hire is Brian Flores, ESPN’s Jeff Darlington reports.

Flores, currently linebackers coach of the New England Patriots, was the first person Miami interviewed (on Jan. 4) in the wake of its Dec. 31 firing of Adam Gase.

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The Dolphins chose Flores, most notably, for his impressive leadership skills. They did not look for somebody whose background was specific to offense or defense — but rather someone who would serve as the best head coach they could find.

Flores’ long-standing relationship with general manager Chris Grier made him a favorable candidate from the start, and his interview solidified their early impressions.

No deal has been agreed upon, and no negotiations on a contract have taken place, Darlington reports. The Patriots host the Los Angeles Chargers in an AFC divisional-round playoff game Sunday.

The Dolphins stayed in-house and interviewed special-teams coordinator Darren Rizzi and offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains on Friday. They’ve interviewed six candidates total, with Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen and Dallas Cowboys defensive playcaller Kris Richard the others.

The 37-year-old Flores, the Patriots’ de facto defensive coordinator, started his career the same way as Grier — as a New England scout.

Flores has coached offense, defense and special teams along with the stint as a scout in New England. He has spent his entire coaching career — since 2004 — with the Patriots.

If hired, Flores would be the first African-American coach in Dolphins history and their 10th head coach (including interims) overall since the beginning of the 2004 season.

Miami has finished between 6-10 and 10-6 in each of the past 10 seasons, the only team in the NFL to do that. It went 7-9 in 2018, losing its final three games by a combined score of 100-41.

The Dolphins allowed 6,257 yards this past season, 29th in the NFL and the most in franchise history. The offense was also among the league’s worst, finishing ranked 31st.

Information from ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe was used in this report.