After interviewing for the Browns’ defensive coordinator job, Brian Flores received his first head coaching interview request in this year’s cycle. The Cardinals want to interview the former Dolphins HC, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
Just more than a year ago, Flores appeared in the clear to prepare for a fourth season as Miami’s HC. But the Dolphins fired the longtime Bill Belichick lieutenant, just after he had defeated the then-playoff-bound Patriots to close a season with a winning record. That set off a seminal chain of events, which changed Flores’ reputation and the Dolphins’ plans.
The racial discrimination lawsuit Flores filed against the NFL and some of its teams is ongoing, and while several teams (the Bears, Giants, Saints and Texans) still proceeded with HC interviews during last year’s busier HC carousel, Flores ended up taking a gig as Pittsburgh’s linebackers coach. Flores’ lawsuit also was believed to scuttle the Dolphins’ plans at bringing in Payton and Tom Brady, and Ross drew a tampering suspension. While the NFL did not punish Ross as a result of Flores’ tanking allegations, his Miami exit created quite the controversy and stripped the team of first- and third-round draft picks.
Handed one of the worst rosters in recent NFL history, Flores went 5-11 with the 2019 Dolphins and led them to winning seasons in 2020 and ’21. While Flores continued to make changes at offensive coordinator and ruffled some feathers among the organization, his Miami record (24-25) stands out among Belichick assistants. Flores took the Miami job after being Belichick’s de facto DC in 2018, a season that finished with the Patriots becoming the second team in Super Bowl history to hold an opponent (the Rams) without a touchdown. During Flores’ time in New England, he coached Cardinals GM candidate Adrian Wilson. An Achilles injury prevented Wilson from playing for the Pats in 2013, but veteran Cardinals reporter Mike Jurecki notes the former safety was impressed with the then-safeties coach (Twitter link).
Considering the Dolphins’ pursuit of Payton, it is interesting both he and Flores are on the radar for the Cardinals position. Flores, 41, never figured to stay long as a Steelers position coach. While no other teams during this year’s cycle have requested a head coaching interview with him this year, more DC interest probably figures to come his way soon.