The Miami Dolphins are on a two-game winning streak, a development that comes as a shock to those who thought they were purposely trying to lose this year to earn the first overall pick in the draft. But to those inside the Dolphins’ locker room, winning is what this season has always been about.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that Flores called his players together a couple weeks ago and told them he isn’t even thinking about next year’s draft and wants them to win, now. The players responded.
“He said he’s not worried about the draft,” right tackle Jesse Davis said. “He’s worried about winning games; [that’s] what he told us. He was telling us, ‘We’re trying to win these games, guys. F [expletive] the draft, we’re not worried about that. We’re worried about the next opponent. We’re worried about getting a win.’ He’s done a good job.”
Dolphins linebacker Jerome Baker said the players appreciated hearing from their coach what every competitor wants to hear: We want to win.
“It was the elephant in the room and he addressed it and cleared things up,” Baker said. “You hear the outsiders and whatever, but the coach said we aren’t worried about next year. He showed he’s about winning and said he believes in us, that our focus isn’t on next year or the year after that. Our focus is on right now and we have the pieces to win. We believe that.”
Thanks to their current two-game winning streak (and the continuing futility on display in Cincinnati and Washington), the Dolphins are no longer the favorites to earn the first overall pick. Whether that costs them a franchise quarterback in next year’s draft remains to be seen, but Flores is earning the respect of his players.