INDIANAPOLIS – Brian Flores stepped to the podium inside the Indianapolis Convention Center and kicked off the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine wearing an aquamarine crew neck jersey with a Dolphins logo on his chest. Considering less than a month ago he was being drowned in confetti and by hugs from his players in the aftermath of the Patriots sixth Super Bowl title in Atlanta, it was a strange look.
"It's been a blur but it's been fun," Flores said. "The opportunity to coach this great organization, I wouldn't trade it for anything. There's always something to do. There's always someone to meet with. It's always crunch time because everything is important.
"[The Super Bowl] was great but it happened quickly. I watched it briefly. It's a testament to the players. The credit goes to them. They practiced hard. They played hard. They played with the discipline that taught us the team-first attitude and reaped the benefits of that. Then I was on a plane and I've been in Florida ever since."
Flores brought some coaches with Patriots ties with him to Miami, which has helped with the transition. He spoke at length about the need to establish a culture and finding like-minded individuals to both work with and coach. Some of those individuals, such as wide receiver coach Chad O'Shea and former linebackers coach Patrick Graham, have been part of that process.
"I think putting together the staff I wanted people that are smart, that are mentally tough," Flores said. "I wanted our staff to reflect what I would like to see from our team — smart, tough, guys who communicate well. We ask players to communicate — offensive, defense, special teams. Our staff has to communicate that way also. That was big. That was one of my main objectives as far as putting the staff together. I am excited with the group that we have.
"Culture is very important. I would say a lot of the things I learned in New England were about putting the team first. I think that was another part of something that was important to me, putting together a staff and people around me that don't have egos, who work well together. I think that is going to be a big part of what we do in Miami."
For now that process involves getting to know the 330-plus prospects who will be in Indy this week.
"I think it's important to bring in players who fit our style," Flores said. "I don't care where that player comes from. Hopefully we'll find a good number of them this week. This week is so important because you get to know these guys and maybe down the line conversations that we had here can help our process two or three years down the line."