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Brian Flores' focus is on improving Dolphins' execution, not playoffs talk

By Omar Kelly, Sun Sentinel on

Published in Football

Brian Flores has a locked-in mentality that rarely wavers.

He's a one hour at a time person. Or better yet, a one meeting or practice at a time coach who takes a one week — one opponent — at a time approach to the season.

That's why the Miami Dolphins' coach routinely stiff arms questions that look too far ahead. And past this week's game is way too far ahead for him.

So don't even bother mentioning the 2020 playoff landscape to him, or the push his 7-4 team needs to make in December's rough stretch of games to secure one of the seven postseason spots in the AFC.

Ask Flores about Miami's playoff push and he'll become flustered that it's not a question about the opponent this week (Sunday, it's the 2-8-1 Cincinnati Bengals).

"You can't get to where you want to get without handling what's right in front of you," Flores said Monday. "I don't know — maybe some other people can. That hasn't been the case for me in my life. You don't just jump to graduations and things of that (sort). They don't just happen. You have to deal with what's in front of you."

 

A home game against the Bengals, who will be starting Ryan Finley at quarterback as Joe Burrow's replacement following the 2020 No. 1 pick's season-ending knee injury two weeks ago, is what's in front of Flores and his team.

They also have to deal with a COVID-19 shortened practice week, just like every other NFL team that had their facilities closed on Monday and will also have them closed Tuesday because of the league's efforts to decrease the infection rate during the nation's coronavirus spike in positive tests.

And determining if rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's thumb injury has healed enough for him to resume his role as the team's starter, replacing Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has led Miami to a 4-3 record as the starter this season, is atop Flores' agenda.

As is getting the Dolphins to raise their level of their end-of-season execution on offensive, defense, and special teams, getting it — dare we say — playoff ready.

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