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Omar Kelly: Can Dolphins coach Brian Flores and his staff make the necessary adjustments to win games?

By Omar Kelly, Sun Sentinel on

Published in Football

The one good thing about playing the New England Patriots early in a season is that Bill Belichick and his team have a way of showing you exactly what is wrong with your team.

All the warts get a spotlight put on them.

The bad thing about playing the Patriots early is that New England exposes your underbelly to the rest of the NFL, providing a blueprint for everyone to follow.

That means the Dolphins better expect for the Buffalo Bills to press Miami's receivers in Sunday's home opener at Hard Rock Stadium, giving them little room to work their routes with the belief that Miami's playmakers will struggle to get open and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick won't beat them deep.

And expect the Bills - and every other team - to run often in their heavy packages because the Dolphins defense got pushed around as New England attacked Miami's linebackers and edge players on the way to producing 217 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns in its 21-11 win.

The Dolphins got out coached by Belichick and the Patriots in Week 1. There's no shame in that, Belichick has regularly done that to NFL coaches for years.

 

It's more important to discover if Brian Flores, the man who spent more than a decade learning from Belichick before becoming the Dolphins' head coach, can plug Miami's leaks.

Until this Dolphins defense figures out how to consistently clog running lanes expect every opponent to try to bully Miami's defensive front, just like they did last year, before Miami rebuilt its defensive front in the offseason.

And until Fitzpatrick and the offense can produce big plays with the long ball or run-after-catch production, expect the first 20-30 yards of the field to be crowded with aggressive press coverage.

Good coaches figure out a way to adjust and mask their team's shortcomings, helping their players and coaching staff evolve. So this season with a better roster we should finally get an opportunity to properly assess Flores' skills regarding game planning, and in-game adjustments.

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