Steelers News

Arthur Maulet Explains Why He’ll Miss Picking ‘Defensive Guru’ Brian Flores’ Brain

The Pittsburgh Steelers had the benefit of employing coach Brian Flores for all of one season, hiring after he was let go as the Miami Dolphins head coach in 2022. Given the title of senior defensive assistant, he interviewed for numerous jobs in 2023 and accepted the post of defensive coordinator with the Minnesota Vikings.

Yet if you listen to the players especially, you will hear many stories of the impact he had on the team. Even quarterback Kenny Pickett talked about how he was of assistance in terms of managing two-minute situations. Many defenders talked about his influence on the run game. Cornerback Arthur Maulet is the latest example of that, especially in terms of his own play.

It was really nice. Smart, smart, smart guy. Defensive guru”, he said of Flores while speaking to Ron Cook and Joe Starkey on 93.7 The Fan. “Definitely helped me out with my run game a lot. Picked his brain a lot about seeing gaps, seeing them move and things like that. I definitely picked his brain. I’m gonna miss him because he definitely helped me out a lot with run game aspect of the defense”.

The run defense did improve considerably last season after a rather down year in 2021. But that is likely as much about the available personnel as it might have been about any specific influences that Flores had.

The Steelers suddenly found themselves without Stephon Tuitt in 2021, and then lost Tyson Alualu early in the second game of the season, so were playing while down two thirds of their starting defensive line—it’s no wonder the unit struggled.

Pittsburgh brought in Larry Ogunjobi last season to replace Tuitt, who had retired. While Alualu returned, he wasn’t the same player, but Montravius Adams, picked up midseason in 2021, proved a more effective option in the middle compared to their options the year earlier after Alualu’s injury.

Still, one shouldn’t discount Flores’ influence given how many players have spoken about it. The defense isn’t going to fall apart without him, but his depth and breadth of knowledge clearly proved to be useful here and there in helping players to understand things, to function in different ways, and generally be more efficient.

It doesn’t appear as though the Steelers have any intention of replacing Flores’ role on the team, at least in terms of assigning anybody the title of senior defensive assistant. Having also worked with the inside linebackers, they did hire Aaron Curry to work with the inside linebackers. They also hired Jason Brooks as a defensive quality control coach.

But the defense remains under the supervision of defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and head coach Mike Tomlin, who has wielded very significant influence over the defense for most of his time in Pittsburgh, including play-calling duties.

To Top
error: Alert: Content is protected !!