Barry Jackson

Patriots rave about Flores, who is poised to add veteran coach to his Dolphins staff

A six-pack of Dolphins notes on a Monday:

Brian Flores, who is expected to be named Dolphins coach after the Patriots season ends, has never been a head coach at any level and naturally could use the help of someone who has been in that position before.

Former Lions and Colts coach Jim Caldwell is positioned to fill that role. NFL Network reports Caldwell will join Flores’ Dolphins staff.

An assistant head coach title would be one possibility.

Flores holds Caldwell in high regard and wanted to hire him as offensive coordinator if Flores had landed the Arizona head coaching job last offseason.

NFL.com’s Albert Breer said he believes Flores wants a young offensive coordinator for the Dolphins.

Caldwell, 63, was 26-22 in three seasons as Colts coach (2009-2011) and 36-28 in four seasons as Lions coach before being fired at the end of the 2017 season.

Since being fired by the Lions, Caldwell has been a consultant to the XFL, which is planning a relaunch. He interviewed for the Packers and Browns head coaching jobs in the past month but didn’t get either.

Current and former Patriots players continue to serve up effusive praise for Flores through cnslmedia.com and other Boston media outlets.

“He always demands a lot. He expects a lot,” said Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy. “You don’t want to let him down.”

“He’s definitely a guy that demands a high standard of excellence,” defensive end Trey Flowers said. “You can definitely sense that intensity in the meeting rooms, on the practice fields, just that passion for the gamer that he’s got to be perfect, be precise, be fundamentally sound and physical. He’s a guy that demands greatness.”



“He’s a very passionate coach,” added defensive end Deatrich Wise. “A coach that wants to see you succeed. A very smart coach. Throughout the year, it’s been an honor playing under him.”

“Love playing for him,” Harmon said. “Love the energy he has, the focus. He’s easy to play for. I’m glad he’s a coach of mine.”

Redskins and former Patriots linebacker Marquis Flowers retweeted an NBC Boston story about Flores and said: “He’s been Ready [for this]! One of the only coaches that has a Sense of Humor but at the same time He’s no Nonsense!! Never Panics and believes in the Little things! Great Hire. big reason why I had 5 sacks last year! He will change the Culture in Miami.”

The Athletic’s Dallas-based NFL writer Calvin Watkins said Flores, during his interview, gave the Dolphins a binder with details on what he would do during his first nine months as Dolphins coach.

He said Bill Belichick told John Wooten – chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance – that Flores is “never late to work or takes time off. Always about the team.”

So what are the Dolphins getting in new developmental quarterback Jake Rudock, the former St. Thomas Aquinas star who has thrown five passes in three NFL seasons and spent last year on the Lions’ practice squad?

“He’s a smart guy,” Caldwell said when he coached him in Detroit, adding that by bulking up, his arm got stronger.

Rudock outplayed Matt Cassel in preseason last year, completing 68 percent of his passes, throwing three touchdowns and posting a 91.5 passer rating. But Lions coach Matt Patricia opted to keep Matt Cassel as Matt Stafford’s backup because of Cassel’s experience.

“He’s a really talented guy,” Patricia said last offseason about Rudock. “He’s got a strong arm. Has an element to him of athleticism that’s a problem.”

In fact, he averaged 4.5 yards per carry on eight carries for the Lions in preseason last season.

Rudock and Luke Falk give Miami two developmental quarterbacks in their system this offseason.

As we wrote Saturday, several teams are trying to hire Dolphins special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi.

Though the Dolphins would like to keep him, Rizzi has been granted permission to speak to those teams. The Vikings and Packers are among his suitors, reports NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

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