Miami Dolphins General Manager Chris Grier wasted little time shaking up the top 10 picks going into the 2021 NFL draft. The Dolphins held the third overall pick (which they acquired from the Houston Texans) followed by the 18th pick in the first round.
In a trade that rocked the football world, Grier traded the 3rd overall pick to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for their 12th pick, a 2021 third-round pick, and first-round picks in 2022 and 2013. Fans were left reeling at the master craftsmanship Grier was pulling off.
Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores addressed the South Florida media Thursday, March 11th to finally discuss the up-and-coming 2021 NFL season.
The season is set to begin on March 17th, highlighted by the start of free agency.
Head Coach Brian Flores
(Opening statement) – “It’s good to see everyone. I hope you and your families are doing well, safe, healthy. Just kind of want to start with a little kind of, let’s call it ‘state of the union’ since we didn’t speak at the Combine this year. A couple quick updates the last couple months – the last time we talked, I want to say at the Senior Bowl and really at the end of the season, I talked about us kind of doing a full evaluation of our team and really, the entire operation – the 2020 season.
As we prepare for the new NFL league year, which officially starts March 17, the league will continue to follow the current Covid-19 protocols put into place in 2020, holding all NFL team meetings and press conferences virtually. Beat writers and major network journalists are limited to virtual interviews only, bringing the importance of social media platforms to a whole new level.
As we continue to face challenges due to the 2020 pandemic, the one thing that has become crystal clear is every sports super fan has started a sports podcast and sports page. So what (if any) impact does this have on those that spent their lives working and earning sports journalist degrees? I reached out to two sports journalists and asked them each the same question. One is from the good old print-only days, while the other is a little younger but can still remember newspapers.
To say that Senior Bowl Executive director Jim Nagy pulled this year’s Reese’s Senior Bowl off is amazing would be an understatement. With all the covid-19 restrictions and adversities we have all had to face, it was a near miracle.
A great amount of gratitude has to be given to the Miami Dolphins and Carolina Panthers who had to put their entire staff through Covid testing and strict quarantine rules. Many of the coaches were telling me days on the field was the first time anyone had left the team hotel.
As we wrap up the senior bowl practice, there is one question that is always asked. Which player took the most of this opportunity to showcase their talents?
As I am wrapping up the final day of the senior bowls practices, some NFL news broke which included the Miami Dolphins.
Rumors have been circulating for weeks about Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson‘s unhappiness with the Texans front office and possibly wanting out. He’s named the Miami Dolphins team as one of the teams he would like to play for.
No big surprise there. Dolphins Head Coach Brian Flores is very well respected around the league. And Dolphins GM Chris Grier has started to build a solid future for this team.
As the 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl got underway, Miami Dolphins Head Coach Brian Flores and his coaching staff got things started.
After a week of testing and quarantine coach Flores and the National team finally got to see some daylight. Due to strict covid protocols, all regular Senior Bowl activities had been canceled prior to both team arrivals.
Day one did however get off to a rocky start. Due to inclement weather, the Senior Bowl staff sent out a mass email that day 1 practice had been moved inside, so no media attendance was to be expected.
Soon after, the skies parted and the weather pattern changed.
The staff quickly reversed the inside order and moved the practice back out on the field. Clearing the way for media to converge back to Handcock Whitney Stadium.
Once we got inside and settled, the team had just taken the field. As teams split into groups, I noticed that Alabama’s top wide receiver and projected first-round pick, DeVonta Smith, was sporting a finger brace on his right hand. Smith has taken part in all team meetings.
When asked by the South Florida media about Smith and his smaller thinner body frame, Coach Flores was pretty quick to snap back that Smith is a tough player. The staff didn’t seem to be bothered by his size, they just wanted it to be known that he had some great college performances, especially in big games. Coach Flores also spoke to the fact that he thought Smith was a good kid.
It’s no secret that the Miami Dolphins are in need of a true #1 receiver. And if you watched any of Smith’s highlights, he is no doubt on the Dolphins draft board.
Another player that Coach Flores and this staff will have an opportunity to take a look at, is Alabama running back Najee Harris. Harris put on a show during the College National Championship game. He showed great athleticism in the running back spot.
As I watched him today, I noticed that he was an attentive young man. He was talking to coaches while seemly taking everything in. Looks like he would be a great fit in the Dolphins’ backfield. Just putting that out there!
With one day of practice in the books, Coach Flores and this Dolphins team have a great opportunity to get an edge up on the 2021 NFL draft class. Scouting is something that Coach Flores knows all too well. Before starting his rise into the coaching field, Coach Flores was an assistant in scouting.
I also got the chance to speak to Reese’s Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy. Nagy told me how Flores excelled in the scouting world. He would even write up Nagy’s scouting reports for him. So according to Nagy, if there is one thing Coach Flores knows, it’s evaluating talent.
So not only is Coach Flores evaluating talent, he is coaching in it. Seems to have come full circle.
The Chicago Bears limped into the playoff with an 8-8 record, mostly due to back to back losses by the Arizona Cardinals. The Bears drew quarterback Drew Brees and the NFC South division champion New Orleans Saints.
Let’s face it, not many people had the Bears coming out on top in this week’s wildcard round. However, the Bears stayed around to make this a very winnable game for them going into the 3rd quarter, where they only trailed the Saints by 4 points.
The Bears failed to take advantage after receiving the ball in the second half. Quarterback Mitch Trubisky and the Bears offense could only muster up 27 total yards during their first drive of the second half, ultimately punting the ball back to the Saints.
As Miami Dolphins fans watched their playoff hopes get squashed by the surging AFC East Champion Buffalo Bills, not only did the Dolphins miss the playoffs, but they also seem to have opened themselves up for some tough decisions ahead.
Following a 56-26 loss, Dolphins fans were left wondering if Miami’s first-round draft choice, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, is indeed the chosen one. Many fans have already seemed to have thrown in the towel, especially since the Dolphins hold the 3rd and 18th picks in this year’s NFL draft, which is likely to hold 3 quarterbacks that are worthy of a first-round selection.
With only 4 weeks left in the 2020 NFL season, the Miami Dolphins find themselves in the hunt to secure a playoff spot. According to the New York Times, the Dolphins have a 58% possibility of making it to the postseason.
The Dolphins will start this run against the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs. With Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes having another MVP type season, the Dolphins will send out first round pick rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa who is 4-1 as the Dolphins starter.