2022 Offseason Questions: Why Didn’t Steelers Look At Brian Flores As DC?

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is over, already eliminated from the postseason after suffering a 42-21 loss at the hands of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. They just barely made the postseason with a 9-7-1 record and a little help from their friends.

This is an offseason of major change, with the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, the possible retirement of general manager Kevin Colbert, and the decisions about the futures of many important players to be made, such as Joe Haden, Stephon Tuitt, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and others—some already decided, some not.

Aside from exploring their options at the quarterback position, the top global priority, once again, figures to be addressing the offensive line, which they did not do quite adequately enough a year ago. Dan Moore Jr. looks like he may have a future as a full-time starter, but Kendrick Green was clearly not ready. Chukwuma Okorafor was re-signed, but Trai Turner was not. James Daniels and Mason Cole were added in free agency.

These are the sorts of topics among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.

Question: Why didn’t the Steelers consider Brian Flores for defensive coordinator?

As I was making my rounds last week, I happened upon a discussion on 93.7 The Fan in which two parties were discussing senior defensive assistant Brian Flores, and the conversation turned toward the host asking the reporter if he had gotten the sense at all that Flores was serving as the de facto defensive coordinator.

He went on to openly wonder if, had Flores been available when the Steelers were making the change at defensive coordinator, they would have hired him to that role instead. The problem with this line of thinking, of course, is that Flores was available. He was fired on January 10. Teryl Austin was formally promoted to defensive coordinator on February 9, nearly a month later. Austin even had an interview with another team in between.

So that’s not the right question to ask. But is it fair to ask why the Steelers seemingly never considered Flores for defensive coordinator during the entire process? They were still carrying out interviews for the job into late January at least.

Perhaps they simply assumed that Flores would land a head coaching job, and that it would be a waste of everybody’s time to even entertain such a silly notion. Even though Flores filed suit against the NFL on February 1, he was still nominally in the running for at least the Houston Texans job, if not one or two others, if memory serves.

The Steelers did not officially hire Flores to the title of senior defensive assistant until February 19, 10 days after naming Austin defensive coordinator. It was seemingly implied that it was a fast-moving process stemming from conversations between Flores and head coach Mike Tomlin. But why not consider him? They hired Mike Munchak after he was fired from a head coaching role to be their offensive line coach, and he stayed aboard for six years.

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