11 Musings from Brian Flores’ Introductory Press Conference

Coach Already a Hot
Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores takes over the team's defense at an introductory press conference on February 15th, 2023, in Eagan, Minnesota.

The Minnesota Vikings now have two men on their coaching staff that have won a Super Bowl in the last five years as a coordinator. Brian Flores joins his old friend Kevin O’Connell to attempt to resurrect a slumbering defense and realize the “championship standard” this franchise is pursuing.

Flores’ hire marks a clear focus by Minnesota to win now, bringing in a former head coach with a history of success and magnanimous personality to rebuild. The former Patriots colleagues shared a stage at TCO Performance Center in Eagan on Wednesday to properly introduce the new Vikings Defensive Coordinator. 

Although the full 34 minutes are well worth a listen, here are 11 off-the-cuff musings from their conversation with the local media.

11 Musings from Brian Flores’ Introductory Press Conference

1. Flores and O’Connell are really excited to coach together. This was apparent from the jump with all of the grinning and chuckling that was going on. Flores called O’Connell “Kev,” while O’Connell referred to his new coworker as “B Flo,” alluding to familiarity and fondness between two young men whose careers started together under the shade of Bill Belichick. 

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

2. Flores had an opportunity to continue pursuing the head coaching job in Arizona, a gig that Super Bowl runner-up Jonathan Gannon claimed earlier this week.

When asked why he removed his name from consideration to take the Vikings job, Flores pointed to Minnesota as a tremendous opportunity for him and his family. “I was in church a couple weeks ago … [the Pastor said] in life there’s instances where you can either have control or you can have growth, but you can’t have both. And that hit me pretty good. I just felt like this was a great opportunity for growth.” He didn’t mention Arizona’s QB situation, but maybe he just didn’t want to touch Kyler Murray with a 39.5-foot pole. 

3. We’re used to players holding down singular positions. Safeties play safety, and linebackers play linebacker. Not in Flores’ mind. “I’m big on versatility; guys being able to play multiple spots.” Cam Bynum in the slot?

Patrick Peterson back on a cheap deal to play safety? Danielle Hunter as DT? Tasty.  

4. Flores repeated the word “joy” throughout the press conference. Not only does he take joy in coaching, but he wants his players to experience that same joy while defending, evidence that coaching for his players seems to be of importance to him. All of this seems to fit quite nicely in O’Connell’s re-imagined Vikings locker room.

Expect from Brian Flores
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports.

5. This won’t surprise many: the shift from Ed Donatell to Brian Flores had a lot to do with aggressiveness. Donatell was anything but in 2022. That much could be seen from Week 2 onward, as the umbrella was always open, and blitzing seemed to be viewed as improper. It will become strikingly apparent that Flores is the anti-Donatell: “I’m aggressive by nature. Philosophically, it’s something I believe in.”

6. While his aggressive defense will require a specific type of player, he quickly pointed out that he may not have to search far and wide to fill the roster. When asked about the types of players needed to fulfill his style of defense, Flores answered: “A lot of the players that are here fit the bill. Smart, tough, physical, guys who love to play, team first… dirty-work guys … selfless”.

7. Jennifer, Brian’s wife of nearly 14 years, is a school teacher. As an NFL coach, he considers himself to be a teacher as well. “We go back and forth about teaching methods … that’s what I was put here to do, to coach and to teach.”

8. The man’s reputation is hard-nosed, borderline-cranky, and Belichickian. Not only did he talk about “joy” throughout his 34 minutes at the mic, he also exudes far more of that joy than he’s typically given credit for. Now, Wednesday could have just been the beginning of the honeymoon stage for the new coaching pair, but Flores genuinely seems like a joy-filled man who is – sorry, I had to – a joy to be around. 

Vikings Probably Have 1 Full
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

9. After being awkwardly asked if we would pursue a head coaching gig in one year, Flores calmly reiterated his enthusiasm to be in Minnesota. “I’m where my feet are … We’ll see what happens in the future.” He is genuinely ecstatic to be a Minnesota Vikings coach. His sons may not let him leave even if he wanted to.

10. The base scheme of defense became all the rage in Minnesota last summer when Ed Donatell brought in his shiny new 3-4 package to replace Mike Zimmer’s archaic 4-3 look that had soured over his last couple of seasons in Minneapolis. Turns out it doesn’t matter what you call the defense; 2022’s iteration stunk, too. Officially, Flores runs a 3-4. But it depends on who they’re playing. Now there’s some real situational mastery.

11. “B Flo” is a walking quote. See the full press conference here.

Will is a husband, father, and earned an undergraduate degree in Economics (just like Kwesi Adofo-Mensah). Will’s favorite pastimes are water skiing, Minnesota sports, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. He is the co-host of the Load the Box Vikings Podcast with Jordan Hawthorn. Follow him on Twitter (@willbadlose) and find his other sports content at Twins Daily and his very own Bad Loser Blog.