The Atlanta Falcons have requested an interview with Pittsburgh Steelers’ defensive assistant/linebackers coach Brian Flores to be their defensive coordinator, per CBS’ Josina Anderson. She tweeted the news a short time ago.
Flores has already interviewed for the Cleveland Browns’ DC job while the Arizona Cardinals have requested an interview for their head coach vacancy. Flores has been a popular name this cycle and that’s before any teams without a head coach begin building out their coaching staff. His odds of leaving the Steelers are just one year seem to be improving.
Flores was hired by the Steelers last February after being fired as the Miami Dolphins’ head coach. Well-regarded for his defensive mind, it’s no surprise to see him get defensive coordinator looks around the league. Seemingly black-balled by the league after suing the NFL and multiple teams, the Steelers gave him a landing spot to coach for a season. His hire was always viewed as a short-term stop and he’s certainly overqualified his in his current position. The Browns could be the first to decide on their coordinator position, getting a head start on the rest of the league after firing former DC Joe Woods on the first day of the offseason.
In his year with the Steelers, they finished with a top-ten run defense after being ranked league-worst a year ago. They held their opponent to 17 or fewer points over their last seven games, something only one other team in the league – the San Francisco 49ers – did throughout the year. Pittsburgh finished 10th in points per game allowed, an improvement from 20th a year ago, while the defense tied the league-lead with 20 interceptions. Flores helped juggle the injuries of the Steelers’ front seven, adjusting and adding wrinkles to their gameplan on a weekly basis.
If hired away, the Steelers would not receive any draft pick compensation. No team receives compensation for coordinator hires and if Flores were to become a head coach, he would have to be with Pittsburgh for at least two years in order for the Steelers to qualify for draft picks.