Brian Flores not looking ahead to home reunion with Patriots
'I had a great run there, but I'm in Miami now,' new Dolphins head coach says
DAVIE, Fla. – Brian Flores isn't looking ahead to Sept. 15.
That's when the New England Patriots will visit Hard Rock Stadium in the second week of the season.
The NFL released the 2019 schedule Wednesday night for all 32 teams. Among the highlights for the Miami Dolphins are back-to-back home games against the Baltimore Ravens and Patriots to open the season.
But don't expect Miami's first-year head coach to be waxing poetic when the Patriots come to town.
"Obviously, I know a lot of people on that team and (in) that organization," the longtime former Patriots assistant said Thursday. "I had a great run there, but I'm in Miami now."
Despite Miami's struggles in the years since former quarterback Dan Marino retired, the Dolphins have had success when it comes to playing the Patriots -- at least in South Florida.
New England quarterback Tom Brady fell to 7-10 in his career at Miami after last year's "Miami Miracle" gave the Dolphins a 34-33 win in the most-recent meeting between the teams.
Flores, who spent 15 seasons in New England as an assistant under head coach Bill Belichick, was on the losing end of most of them. But that's not on his mind.
"We're building a team here and that's where my focus is," he said. "When we get to that, we'll prepare and get ready to play them when the time comes."
The Patriots have won 15 of the last 16 AFC East Division championships and six Super Bowls since 2001. Veteran players like wide receiver Kenny Stills hope Flores can bring some of that magic to the Dolphins, who haven't won a playoff game since Marino was behind center.
"He's himself and we're building that relationship with him and the team," Stills told reporters. "We're continuing to learn who he is and figure that out, but we're on the right track to start."
In other schedule-related matters, Flores said it's too early to say whether the Dolphins will stay in the New York area in the week between December road games at the Jets and Giants.
Miami will play the Jets on Dec. 8 and the Giants on Dec. 15. The Jets and Giants share MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
"That's so far down the line," Flores said. "I'm going to go ahead and say that we had a brief conversation about it, but nothing has been set in stone yet. When it is, I'll let you know."
2019 Miami Dolphins Schedule
|Sunday||Sept. 8||Baltimore Ravens||Hard Rock Stadium|
|Sunday||Sept. 15||New England Patriots||Hard Rock Stadium|
|Sunday||Sept. 22||at Dallas Cowboys||AT&T Stadium|
|Sunday||Sept. 29||Los Angeles Chargers||Hard Rock Stadium|
|Sunday||Oct. 13||Washington Redskins||Hard Rock Stadium|
|Sunday||Oct. 20||at Buffalo Bills||New Era Field|
|Monday||Oct. 28||at Pittsburgh Steelers||Heinz Field|
|Sunday||Nov. 3||New York Jets||Hard Rock Stadium|
|Sunday||Nov. 10||at Indianapolis Colts||Lucas Oil Stadium|
|Sunday||Nov. 17||Buffalo Bills||Hard Rock Stadium|
|Sunday||Nov. 24||at Cleveland Browns||FirstEnergy Field|
|Sunday||Dec. 1||Philadelphia Eagles||Hard Rock Stadium|
|Sunday||Dec. 8||at New York Jets||MetLife Stadium|
|Sunday||Dec. 15||at New York Giants||MetLife Stadium|
|Sunday||Dec. 22||Cincinnati Bengals||Hard Rock Stadium|
|Sunday||Dec. 29||at New England Patriots||Gillette Stadium|
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