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Dolphins' Brian Flores Fined $25K for 'Vociferous' Argument with Refs vs. Jets

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst IIIDecember 16, 2019

Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores answers questions during a news conference after an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores is $25,000 poorer on top of his team being 3-11.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Flores was fined $25,000 by the NFL "for his vociferous argument against the late pass interference review, one that included him getting up close and person with referee Craig Wrolstad" during last week's 22-21 loss to the New York Jets.

With 47 seconds remaining in regulation and Miami leading 21-19, officials reviewed a 3rd-and-18 passing play that went incomplete between Jets quarterback Sam Darnold and receiver Vyncint Smith. Afterward, a defensive pass interference call was assessed to Dolphins rookie cornerback Nik Needham.

The drive concluded with the Jets kicking a game-winning 44-yard field goal by Sam Ficken as time expired.

Following the final whistle, Flores sprinted toward the referees at midfield and yelled what appeared to be, "Hey, that was a horses--t call." The first-year Miami coach was "on fire" about it on the sidelines prior to that, per Kayla Morton of Full Press Coverage.

Flores declined to answer questions about officiating after the game:

Clay Ferraro @ClayWPLG

Here's what Dolphins head coach Brian Flores said when asked about the controversial pass interference call on Needham. https://t.co/wAfVTGergf

Needham offered stronger commentary on how the call affected the outcome, per The Athletic's Chris Perkins:

"We fought our ass off, 60 minutes of strong, hard football. Fought back from halftime, down a little bit, came back, was up, and then we lost off a call. It's trash. I'm not gonna lie.

[...]

"I feel like that's a competitive (play). How else am I supposed to get to the receiver when he's in front of me? I can't run through him. I'm going to have to get around him to get the ball out. So I guess (pass interference) in their eyes."

The NFL senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron explained the reasoning behind the reversal. "After we look at it, we get a couple of replays which show us that it's clear and obvious that the defender grabs the receiver by his shoulder, turns him prior to the ball getting there, and significantly hinders him before the ball arrives."

While it cost Flores, his players appreciated his passion:

Clay Ferraro @ClayWPLG

Dolphins players are happy that head coach Brian Flores was willing to fight for them yesterday after the controversial pass interference call. https://t.co/FsYVYgE5DI

To worsen the blow for Flores, the Dolphins lost again at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. The New York Giants handled Miami 36-20.

Flores' fine will be a blip on the radar in the long run for Miami, but building trust with his players is imperative if the Dolphins' fortunes are going to improve next season and beyond.

Jim Nagy @JimNagy_SB

What the #dolphins are doing under Brian Flores is NOT a surprise to anyone that has played, scouted, or coached with him. True leader. While he realistically won’t win Coach-of-the-Year, getting this stripped-down team to 3 wins should earn him votes.

The Dolphins, who started 0-7, can still finish the season strong. They will host the 1-13 Cincinnati Bengals next Sunday.