Brian Flores’ stay in Pittsburgh will last only one year. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, he’s taking the Minnesota Vikings’ defensive coordinator job.
Flores was considered a finalist for the Arizona Cardinals’ head coaching gig and was also set to interview with the Denver Broncos’ tomorrow for their defensive coordinator position. But he’s jumping on the chance to go to Minnesota and coordinate their defense, perhaps sensing he wasn’t going to end up in Arizona.
With an offensive-minded head coach in Minnesota’s Kevin O’Connell, Flores should have control over the defense. He was considered the heavy favorite for the job after Ejiro Evero took the same role in Carolina.
Flores’ stay in Pittsburgh lasted just one year, a bridge year after being fired by the Miami Dolphins. Initially, Mike Tomlin had no plans to hire Flores but offered a job once he realized Flores wasn’t in contention to become a head coach or defensive coordinator anywhere else in the league. Flores coached the Steelers’ inside linebackers in 2022. Previously in the offseason, Flores interviewed to be the DC in Atlanta and Cleveland but was passed over for both jobs.
Flores will now occupy the same role Mike Tomlin had in 2006 as Vikings’ DC before being hired as the Steelers’ head coach in 2007. Tomlin is now the second-longest tenured coach in the league only trailing New England’s Bill Belichick.
Pittsburgh will not receive any draft compensation for losing Flores. Teams don’t receive comp picks for coordinator positions and Flores needed to be with the team for another year for the Steelers to get draft picks if he became a head coach somewhere else.
It’s the second coaching loss the Steelers have experienced this year and by far the most significant. The team also lost assistant Blaine Stewart to the college game, named West Virginia’s new tight ends coach. It’s unknown if the Steelers will try to replace Flores’ role but the circumstances in hiring him were unique. The team still has Jerry Olsavsky, who has worked with the team’s inside linebackers since being hired in 2015.
UPDATE (6:31 PM): The Vikings have officially announced the hiring.