Barely a day after the Texans fired David Culley, they interviewed one of the frontrunners to succeed him. Brian Flores completed a Houston HC interview Friday, the team announced.
Flores and Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo have been mentioned as the favorites for this post, but the recently fired Dolphins HC was the first name to come up here. Flores and Texans GM Nick Caserio worked together in New England for over a decade. Flores, 40, also completed an interview with the Bears on Friday.
The Texans do need to interview at least one more minority candidate to satisfy the NFL’s current Rooney Rule requirements. This process could move fast, given Flores’ connection to Caserio. With the second-year GM pulling the plug on Culley so quickly, it is fairly clear he has a candidate in mind.
Josh McDaniels was most frequently linked to Caserio during previous hiring periods, but Aaron Wilson of Sports Talk 790 reports the Patriots OC will not interview during his team’s playoff run. McDaniels also might not be interested in Houston’s job, Wilson notes. That would narrow the field of notable Patriot assistants or ex-Patriot staffers, opening a wider path for Flores. The Patriots had Flores on staff from 2004-18, and he ran their defense during their most recent Super Bowl-winning season. Caserio was in Foxborough throughout Flores’ stay.
Despite taking over what was almost certainly the NFL’s worst roster in 2019, Flores won five games in Miami that season. He then reeled off back-to-back winning seasons over the past two years. Flores’ tenure included a 4-2 record against the Patriots, with the Dolphins becoming the first team to sweep the Pats since Bill Belichick‘s first season with the franchise (2000). However, clashes with management and Tua Tagovailoa are believed to have soured the Dolphins on Flores.
A Houston landing would certainly be interesting because of the team’s quarterback situation. Flores spent months deflecting Deshaun Watson questions leading up to the trade deadline. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was believed to be behind the team’s Watson push, but the quarterback was interested in playing for Flores. Watson is expected to keep his trade request in place, regardless of the Texans’ HC choice.