It is a bittersweet feeling for New England Patriots safety Duron Harmon.
On the one hand, he knows he and his teammates will miss linebackers coach/defensive signal-caller Brian Flores, who was so instrumental in the defensive surge that helped the Patriots reach and win Super Bowl LIII against the Los Angeles Rams.
‘He was able to get the best out of each and everybody on that defense’
On the other hand, Harmon is thrilled Flores now has a chance to be a head coach, with the Miami Dolphins.
“I will say the first thing that (the Dolphins) should really be excited about and that I really think probably (allowed him to stand) apart from anybody who did the interviews is he’s a tremendous leader,” Harmon told Ross Tucker and Charlie Weis on The Opening Drive. “I can’t talk enough about how great of a leader he is. He was able to get the best out of each and everybody on that defense. I’m just taking it back to when I first got there, he was the safeties coach, and he did everything to put all his players in the best position.
‘He’s putting us all in positions to play the game and putting us in positions to use our strengths’
“I remember at one point we were playing four safeties my second year – me, (Patrick) Chung, Dev (McCourty) and Tavon Wilson. He’s putting us all in positions to play the game and putting us in positions to use our strengths to help the team. Then, he goes over to the linebacker position and does the same thing, finding roles for everybody just to make sure that we’re always in a good position.”
“A lot of people wanted to write us off after we lost the back-to-back games, especially defensively, versus Pittsburgh and Miami.”
As Harmon pointed out, the Patriots’ defenders “loved” Flores, and clearly were aware that the Super Bowl would be their final time working with him.
‘Over these last five games that we played, our defense has been stout and we owe a lot of that to him’
“I’m not going to say we went out there and played just for him, but we definitely wanted to send him off the right way because we had a great time this year with him challenging us, pushing at us to be the best defense that we could be,” Harmon said. “A lot of people wanted to write us off after we lost the back-to-back games, especially defensively versus Pittsburgh and Miami. I mean, we were giving up, at one point I think in those two games or three games, including the Vikings, like 9.5 yards a carry.
“(Flores) did everything in his power to put us in a defense that stopped the run, switching up things, switching up personnel (groups), doing everything he could to give us the best chance to win. And he did that. Over these last five games that we played, our defense has been stout and we owe a lot a lot of that to him.”
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