Brian Flores Gets the Next Interview for the Vikings DC Job

Offseason Stuff
Jan 9, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores watches from the sideline during the second quarter of the game against the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

This week, the Minnesota Vikings have begun conducting interviews with defensive coordinator candidates to fill the role held by Ed Donatell during the regular season. Over the past few days, Minnesota has interviewed New Orleans Saints co-defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen, Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Sean Desai, and in-house candidate Mike Pettine for the Vikings dc job.

On Thursday, the Vikings conducted their fourth interview for the defensive coordinator spot, and this time, it goes to Steelers linebackers coach and defensive assistant, Brian Flores.

Flores actually hasn’t been a defensive coordinator throughout his coaching career, but he has held a number of roles on that side of the ball. He also spent three seasons as the Miami Dolphins head coach.

During his first years in New England, Flores was part of the Patriots scouting team before earning roles as the special teams assistant (2008-09), special teams coordinator (2010), defensive assistant coach (2011), safeties coach (2012-15), and linebackers coach (2016-18). With New England, he was part of four Super Bowl winning teams.

Jun 9, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers senior defensive assistant/linebackers coach Brian Flores (left) and offensive coordinator Matt Canada (right) participate in minicamp at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Then, in 2019, Flores was hired by the Miami Dolphins to be their head coach. He was the head coach for three seasons before being fired in 2021 despite back-to-back winning seasons for Miami. Overall, his head coaching record was 24-25. In the previous three seasons before Flores’ arrival, Miami had gone 23-25.

After his departure, Flores became senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach in Pittsburgh for former Vikings defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin, making him the most over-qualified linebackers coach in the NFL.

Brian Flores Gets the Next Interview for the Vikings DC Job
Brian Flores was fired after leading the Dolphins to two consecutive winning seasons. Syndication Palm Beach Post

Flores is also in the running for the Cardinals head coaching job this offseason after Arizona fired Kliff Kingsbury, and he may even be a front-runner for that spot right now. That is the one downside to the Vikings hiring Flores now, as he would likely not be a long-term solution for the purple team. Even if he doesn’t get a head coaching gig this offseason, he will likely get another chance somewhere sooner rather than later.

Flores has more than proven his value to NFL franchises over the course of his coaching career. If the Vikings land him as their defensive coordinator, he would be a huge step towards turning around what was one of the worst defenses in the NFL during the 2022 season.

One way that things would look much different under Flores is through blitzing. The Vikings rarely blitzed in 2022 with their defensive group. That would certainly change with Flores at the helm. During his three years in Miami, the Dolphins blitzed the second-most of any team in both 2020 and 2021.

If the Vikings were to hire Flores, he likely wouldn’t be around very long as he will continue to be in the circle of head coaching candidates until he finally lands a job. That being said, if the Vikings want to go all-in on trying to improve this defense and make one more run at a deep playoff run with Kirk Cousins, Flores makes the most sense.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.