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Omar Kelly: Brian Flores’ lawsuit puts an even darker cloud around Dolphins’ coaching search

Time after time Miami Dolphins owner Steve Ross has stood at a podium to announce his latest hire for the football side of the franchise, and subsequently pledged that the Dolphins’ era of dysfunction is over.

The last guy fired was the problem, and now the Dolphins, who have helped Ross triple his net worth — which is reportedly at $8.3 billion — over the past decade, are going to get their act together.

History has shown that Ross is either misguided, delusional — or even worse — part of the problem because here we are again. The Dolphins are yet again at the epicenter of an embarrassing moment in NFL history.

Brian Flores’ class-action lawsuit makes a series of troublesome claims against the Dolphins, the New York Giants and Denver Broncos, and challenges the NFL on its pattern of bias against hiring coaches of color.

It’s potentially monumental to all of sports, if not society because it pulls back the curtain on systemic racism. This lawsuit could force the NFL to examine whether black coaches and executives get a fair shake at positions of power in the league, and has the potential to change the sport forever.

It could also leave a poor taste in the mouth of the candidates seeking to replace Flores as the Dolphins’ next head coach.

Miami will begin its second round of interviews on Friday, visiting with 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel and Dallas offensive coordinator Kellen Moore before making their selection, and a subsequent offer.

While neither McDaniel or Moore are exciting names and both lack the head coach experience (McDaniel also hasn’t been a play-caller in the NFL) that will likely be needed to transform the Dolphins into a perennial contender in a few seasons, they do have choices.

Former Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn took his name out of considering for all jobs to stay in Dallas as the Cowboys defensive coordinator, and if McDaniel or Moore took that route it could leave the Dolphins in a tough spot.

A spot similar to the one they were in back in 2014 when they named Dennis Hickey to be Jeff Ireland’s replacement as Miami’s general manager.

That ugly chapter of Ross’ tenure as owner, when he struggled finding someone to run his football team, isn’t discussed enough.

It started when Eric Decosta turned down an interview to become the Dolphins’ general manager, despite reportedly being the front-runner. He preferred to stay with the Ravens, where he’s now Baltimore’s executive vice president and general manager.

Can’t fault the man for his loyalty.

Ray Farmer interviewed and was offered the job, but declined, later expressing discomfort with the people running the Dolphins. That season he got elevated from the assistant general manager spot with the Cleveland Browns to the top spot.

New England’s Nick Caserio was a late add to the interview process, and received an offer he quickly declined. Caserio remain with the Patriots for six more seasons before accepting the Houston Texans general manager job last offseason.

All that rejection led to Ross offering the job to Hickey.

Hickey ran Miami’s football operations for one season before the Dolphins hired Mike Tannenbaum as a vice president of football operations, and had Hickey report to him for one season before he was eventually fired and replaced with Chris Grier, who still holds the general manager position.

Grier is now in position to make his second head coaching hire since becoming the team’s top football executive in 2019.

The hope is that Ross, who has had four head coaches and five different leaders at the top of his organization, won’t try to sell us on the team’s era of dysfunctional finally being over because it’s fairly evident this team’s decision-makers haven’t learned a thing from their past.

That constant confusion and dysfunction could continue to be turnoff when it comes to hiring people for leadership positions in the organization.

Let’s just hope this doesn’t lead to Miami picking the fourth-best coaching candidate.

At some point Ross has to take an assessment of where he’s gone wrong, and try to identify what’s discouraging quality candidates from wanting to put their careers in his hands.

Only then can this era of dysfunction truly be declared over.