Brian Flores vows to “stick up for my players” but regrets losing cool

Sport

Brian Flores came unglued after the second of back-to-back cheap shots by Bengals receiver Mike Thomas on Dolphins punt return Jakeem Grant.

Thomas’ second illegal hit on Grant, which briefly left Grant injured, set off a brawl midway through the fourth quarter and led to three ejections. (Thomas received only two penalties on the two illegal hits and no ejection.)

Flores angrily went after the Bengals’ sideline.

“I’m going to stick up for my players. They’re going to stick up for each other,” Flores said afterward, via Josh Tolentino of TheAthletic.com.

Flores appeared to scream at Bengals coaches before Bengals safety Vonn Bell attempted to keep Flores from further approaching. Flores’ own players and coaches then pulled him back toward his own sideline.

Flores’ action won over his players.

“It speaks a lot to Flo’s character,” rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa said. “[Grant] got hit, and it wasn’t the first time; it was the second time. He stands up for us as a team. It wasn’t just him. It’s a testament to how close we are as a team.”

Flores, though, regrets losing his cool.

“I have to do a better job. I have to, to not hurt the team,” Flores said, via Safid Deen of the Sun Sentinel. “My emotions got the best of me there. You see somebody you care about get hit like that twice, but I have to do a better job and keep my poise better. We have to do a better job of keeping poise as a team.

“The people in this organization are very important to me. I’m going to try to protect players and coaches, but there’s a better way to do that. Our team played well, won the game. . . . Unfortunately we’re talking about my situation, and that’s what I don’t like.”