3 HC Destinations for Brian Flores

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Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores has turned around the purple team’s defense — for the most part — in a single season.

The Vikings ranked 30th via points allowed in 2022 under Ed Donatell, a mark fixed to the tune of 10th-best in 2023.

3 HC Destinations for Brian Flores

Accordingly, Flores could fetch head coaching interest in the coming weeks as NFL teams fire existing coaches and hire new ones. Flores coached the Miami Dolphins from 2019 to 2021 before a disappointing ending that appeared aimed at him.

Vikings to Showcase
Minnesota Vikings Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center. Flores was hired in February 2023 to take over for Ed Donatel after Minnesota finished 30th in points allowed.

And if Flores takes an HC gig in 2023, these three teams are the most likely to spring for his services. They’re ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = most likely to hire Flores).

3. New Orleans Saints

3 HC Destinations
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New Orleans will probably miss out on the postseason, marking a sad start to life without Drew Brees and Sean Payton. The Saints are 14-18 (.437) on head coach Dennis Allen’s watch, and one must wonder if that’s good enough for New Orleans’ usually lofty standard.

The Saints also rank 17th per defensive DVOA in 2023, meaning Allen’s side of the ball isn’t remotely dominant. Is it worth employing a defensive mastermind head coach in the modern era if the defense is average?

Otherwise, to fit Flores’ hypothetical head coaching criteria, the Saints are a fairly sturdy and reputable organization. Because of how his tenure ended in Miami, Flores will want a respectable head coaching gig, and for better or worse, New Orleans provides that.

Of course, this would irritate Vikings fans to high heavens, but such is life.

2. Los Angeles Chargers

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Flores has no true-blue ties to the Chargers, but the job is attractive. Bill Belichick’s name is often mentioned to take over in Los Angeles; so is Jim Harbaugh from the University of Michigan.

The rumor mill has suggested Flores won’t leave the Vikings for just any ‘ol head coaching job, especially after what happened in Miami.

But because Justin Herbert will be the Chargers’ quarterback indefinitely, the hard part is over for any incoming skipper. Flores should apply for the Chargers’ job and hope the team’s ownership is willing to sign on with a defense-first coach leader after the failed Brandon Staley experiment.

By leaps and bounds, this is the best head coaching job available in the NFL, and Flores should inquire.

1. New England Patriots

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Flores spend 15 seasons in New England. As an NFL thinker, he grew up as a Patriot. Folks will find out in the next couple of weeks if Belichick departs the organization, and if that happens, Flores should be a Top 3 candidate for the New England gig.

He’d inherit a Top 5 draft pick — probably Top 3 — where he could select a quarterback like Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels, and then let his defensive mastery take care of the rest.

Flores has profound and deep ties to New England; this connection makes all the sense in the world. And then some.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.