Even after filing a lawsuit against the NFL citing discrimination in its hiring practices, current Pittsburgh Steelers senior defensive assistant/LB coach Brian Flores stated in a bit of a throwaway comment earlier this week to The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly that he actually had other coaching opportunities before ultimately deciding to land with head coach Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In an article on The Athletic that published Saturday morning highlighting Flores as the x-factor for the Steelers in Sunday’s home opener at Acrisure Stadium against the New England Patriots — a team that Flores once coached for, the longtime NFL coach and former head coach of the Miami Dolphins hinted at other coaching opportunities, but was never asked by Kaboly to expand on the throwaway comments.
Were those opportunities in the NFL outside of the head coaching jobs he was a finalist for in Houston and with the New York Giants? Were those opportunities in college? What exactly were the opportunities? We’ll likely never know, but it is a bit interesting that Flores made those comments while stating he’s loving his time in Pittsburgh.
“It’s been great, a lot of fun,” said Flores, who mentioned he had opportunities to coach elsewhere before choosing the Steelers, Kaboly writes for The Athletic. “There is a lot of conversation and a lot of creative ideas, thoughts. It has been a great experience so far, and I’m excited about those moments when I get to sit in those meetings. I am learning a lot, and it has been a great experience for me. I would like to think that I have been in some good places and around some good coaches — coach T [Tomlin], T.A. [Teryl Austin] take a back seat to none of them.”
The Flores affect has already been on full display in the Steel City as the Steelers’ inside linebackers already look better than they did throughout the 2021 season, especially fourth-year pro Devin Bush. He’s part of a dynamic defensive coaching staff with Tomlin and defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, giving the Steelers three terrific minds on the defensive side of the football to scheme up ways to win.
It’s a bit strange though that Flores made a throwaway comment about other opportunities before landing with the Steelers, considering at the time of his hiring in Pittsburgh it felt like he was out of options and Tomlin’s decision to pursue him as an assistant coach. At this point, it largely doesn’t matter as he is in Pittsburgh for the 2022 season and is likely to be one-and-done.
Just a strange comment overall from Flores.