If you disregard the turquoise and orange uniforms, you'd probably get a little confused when looking at the Miami Dolphins roster. On top of head coach Brian Flores rising through the ranks in Foxborough prior to taking the Dolphins gig last offseason, there are a number of former New England Patriots players that now call Miami home. Just in the 2020 offseason alone, four former Patriots signed with the Dolphins, including linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who inked a four-year, $51 million deal.
Despite that seemingly ever-growing resemblance to their AFC East rival, Van Noy, who won two Super Bowl titles as a member of the Patriots, wants to make it clear that his new club is not trying to become a carbon copy of his old one.
"I don't know how many New England guys there are, but we're going to get away from that," Van Noy told Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald. "We're our own team, this is not the New England Patriots. This is the Miami Dolphins. It's totally different, and I'm excited for that. New beginnings.
"We're the Miami Dolphins. We're here to represent the people of Miami. They want it bad. I can sense that. Miami's a football town."
On the surface level, every team should want to be like the Patriots. Over the last twenty years, they've constantly been in contention as one of the NFL's elite teams and have six Lombardi Trophies to show for it. I mean, who wouldn't want that type of success?
That said, Van Noy's mindset is an accurate one. While any organization would kill for even 30% of New England's success over the last two decades, you can't straight up try to mimic it. We've seen that act a number of times, and it's failed miserably. Whether it's Eric Mangini in New York or even Josh McDaniels in Denver, when you try to simply be Bill Belichick, you'll find out quickly that it's anything but simple, and you will likely find yourself on the hot seat in short order.
While Brian Flores did enjoy a solid first season as the head coach of the Dolphins in 2019, he may have fallen a bit into that Belichick-ian trap with the hiring of Chad O'Shea to be the team's offensive coordinator. The former Patriots receivers coach essentially brought a New England-style offense to go along with Flores' New England-influenced defense. The complexity of the Patriots offense is tough for any singular player to grasp let alone an entire offensive unit, so it's no wonder that the Dolphins averaged just 19.1 points per game and ranked in the bottom 10 in offensive efficiency.
Luckily for Flores and the Dolphins, the coach seemed to recognize that misstep, letting O'Shea go this offseason, because he wanted the offense to move away from his Patriots roots, according to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated.
That realization is extremely important for Miami as they now enter this new era with first-round quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Sure, they'll have some Patriots influence from leadership on down, but doing things your own way will likely be more conducive to possibly achieving some semblance of success that New England's enjoyed. Copying their notes word-for-word won't get you anywhere.