New England Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores was officially hired as head coach of the Miami Dolphins on Monday.
“Two things that stand out immediately when you meet Brian are his football intelligence and leadership skills,” Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said. “Brian is widely respected throughout the NFL. He paid his dues in New England working in personnel, on offense, defense and special teams, which helped him build a great understanding of what it takes to win.”
Flores, New England’s defensive play-caller, helped shut down the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII on Sunday. Flores won four Super Bowl rings as a member of the Patriots’ coaching staff.
Flores, who turns 38 later this month, spent 11 seasons learning at the knee of Bill Belichick and was promoted in the 2018 offseason, when Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia was hired as head coach of the Detroit Lions.
—The Bengals officially announced the hiring of Zac Taylor as their new head coach. He previously had been identified as Cincinnati’s choice, but the organization couldn’t move forward until after the Super Bowl, with Taylor being the quarterbacks coach of the Los Angeles Rams.
“This is a great organization with good people and a rich history, and I am excited to get started,” he said in a statement. “I am looking to add to that history by setting high standards, and holding everyone here accountable to those standards. There is a lot of work to do, and this is day one. We’re going to attack every day with enthusiasm to get this team ready to go.”
Taylor, 35, spent the past two seasons with the Rams, who lost 13-3 to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII. He also had a four-year stint coaching quarterbacks for the Miami Dolphins from 2012-15.
—The NFL is leaning toward a historic matchup to kick off its 100th season in 2019.
The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers are expected to play in the Thursday night opener, according to Westwood One’s Ed Werder.
In a nod to the historic rivalry to open a celebration-filled 100th season of the NFL, the longtime regional rivals would replace the reigning Super Bowl champions in the first game of the 2019 regular season.
—Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz admitted his shortcomings could have inspired anonymous criticism from teammates, who described the 26-year-old as selfish and egotistical.
Wentz said parts of the critical story published last month by PhillyVoice.com were wrong, and others prompted reflection. The story cited “more than a half dozen” players who requested anonymity “fearing repercussions.”
“It’s never fun to read, but to an extent, you look at it and be like, ‘Well, if someone did have this perception of me, why? What have I done wrong? What can I get better at?’” Wentz said, per ESPN. “I realize I have my shortcomings. Yes, I can be selfish. I think we all have selfishness inside of us. There’s human elements to that, that I really look at and say, ‘Well, I can get better.’”
—The Super Snoozer apparently put many television viewers to sleep, according to the data released by Nielsen.
Nielsen said Super Bowl LIII between the Patriots and the Rams averaged approximately 98.2 million viewers on CBS, the lowest since Super Bowl XLII between the New York Giants and Patriots averaged 97.4 million viewers on Feb. 3, 2008.
Sunday’s viewership was down more than 5 million from the previous Super Bowl, when 103.4 million viewers tuned in to the Eagles’ 41-33 win over the Patriots.
—Reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are the betting favorite to win the Super Bowl next season, according to one Las Vegas sportsbook.
The Chiefs are 6-1 at Westgate SuperBook, jumping ahead of the Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots. Those three teams are 8-1.
Super Bowl LIV will be played on Feb. 2, 2020, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.
—Scratch at least one member of the New England Patriots roster from making a trip to the White House, providing an invitation from President Donald Trump comes this year.
Defensive back Devin McCourty said he would not attend, while Jason McCourty, Devin’s 31-year-old twin brother and teammate in the secondary, offered that his chances of going are “highly” doubtful.
TMZ also reported that Patriots safety Duron Harmon would skip a White House visit.
—Field Level Media