Brian Flores is coaching against the New Orleans Saints this weekend. If Bleacher Report’s prediction comes true, he’ll be coaching alongside the Saints in 2023.
While certainly just idle speculation, B/R’s Alex Ballentine predicts the Saints will can first-year head coach Dennis Allen after this season and hire Flores to lead the charge.
There is one noteworthy connection between the Saints and Flores. Flores was a candidate for the head coaching job last season and as Ballentine notes, GM Micky Loomis said Flores was an impressive interview.
“Last offseason, executive vice president and general manager Mickey Loomis said he was impressed in interviews with now-Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker coach Brian Flores and Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn. Pederson was the only one to get a head coaching gig.”
Of course, Flores didn’t get the job with the Saints tabbing the in-house candidate in Allen to replace long-time coach Sean Payton. New Orleans is struggling in Allen’s first year at the helm, sitting at 3-6 and losing three of their last four. With the Saints semi-scrambling to find Payton’s replacement, who suddenly decided to (temporarily) retire last offseason, it’s possible they quickly make another move to find a better long-term option.
Flores is certainly a name worth considering with head coaching experience and one of the best defensive minds in football. His story has been well-told, fired by the Dolphins and then suing them, multiple other NFL teams, and the league over radial discrimination in hiring practices. Litigation remains ongoing and the rest of the league shied away from hiring Flores until Mike Tomlin stepped in and tabbed him as the team’s new defensive assistant/linebackers coach. While Pittsburgh’s defense has underwhelmed, in part due to T.J. Watt’s injury, Flores has been regarded as a positive presence in the locker room helping players like Devin Bush improve his game while working in defensive wrinkles to replace Watt.
If his case isn’t settled, football teams may be cautious in interviewing and hiring Flores. But his resume should have teams interested for at least a defensive coordinator position. If Flores were to be hired as a head coach this offseason, the Steelers would not receive draft compensation. Flores would need to be with Pittsburgh for at least two seasons in order for the Steelers to earn picks.