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Steelers’ Brian Flores ‘Name To Watch’ For Texans’ Vacant Head Coaching Job

The NFL has its first firing of the 2023 offseason, the Houston Texans letting go of Lovie Smith after just one season. The Texans will search for its third head coach in three years. Over the weekend before Smith’s firing was official, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer mentioned the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Brian Flores as a possible candidate for the job.

Here’s what Breer wrote on Saturday:

“I’d say the likelihood is [Smith will] be gone, with Gannon, the Eagles’ DC, and Ryans, the Niners’ DC and former Texans captain, as top candidates to take his spot. Flores, given his relationship with Caserio, would be another name to watch.”

This sounds like simple dot-connecting from Breer based on relationships but that’s always important in head coaching hires. Breer is referring to Flores’ relationship with Texans’ GM Nick Caserio, who seems likely to remain in his position with Houston. Caserio and Flores worked together in New England before Caserio went to Houston and Flores took the head coaching job in Miami.

After being fired by the Dolphins, Flores sued the team and the league for a wrongful firing and hiring discrimination practices, accusing Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross of paying him to lose games. That legal battle remains ongoing. In February, Pittsburgh hired Flores as the team’s defensive assistant/inside linebackers coach.

It’s certainly worth pointing out Flores was considered one of the finalists for the Texans’ job last year before the team tabbed Smith. The Texans went 3-13-1 this season, winning Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts which in turn kicked them out of the top spot in the draft. They’ll now pick 2nd overall with the Chicago Bears holding the top pick of the draft.

Based on other reporting, the favorites for the job, as Breer mentions, is Philadelphia Eagles’ DC Jonathan Gannon, expected to be a popular name in this year’s hiring cycle. Josh McCown is another name floated for the job. Reportedly, the Texans came close to hiring him last season.

Houston can be an unpredictable franchise with questionable hires and sudden changes in their decision-making, they nearly hired Omar Khan as GM in 2021 before pivoting to Caserio at the last moment. If Flores to Houston gathers any additional steam, we’ll certainly let you know about it. And if Flores is hired away, because he was only in Pittsburgh for one season, the Steelers would not receive draft compensation.

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