5 Takeaways from Brian Flores’ Intro Press Conference

The Minnesota Vikings tabbed Brian Flores from the Pittsburgh Steelers to transform their 2023 defense, replacing Ed Donatell, who coached Minnesota’s defense in 2022.

Flores was introduced as defensive coordinator to the media and fans on Wednesday, and here’s what you need to know.

5 Takeaways from Brian Flores’ Intro Press Conference

Flores last had full control of a defense in Miami when he was the head coach of the Dolphins from 2019 to 2021.

You can watch the full press conference here.

1. One Word: Aggression

Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores in Miami Gardens, September 15, 2019. © Allen Eyestone via Imagn Content Services, LLC.

Flores opened his Vikings career with one meaningful sentence, “I’m aggressive by nature.”

This factoid was already known about the former Dolphins skipper, but he was not shy — at all — about reaffirming Thursday. The 2022 Vikings were criticized for lack of aggression, so it seems the pendulum has been pulled all the way back to the left with the Flores addition.

Flores also exalted his “zero blitz” tendency and sounded damn proud of it.

2. Current ‘Roster Bubble’ Players Could Be Safe

5 Takeaways from Brian
Jul 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks (54) during training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Asked about the Vikings existing personnel — those still under contract for 2023 — Flores stated, “a lot of players that are here” will fit his scheme.

And that’s a departure from the popular belief that Minnesota will undergo a massive defensive change via personnel in free agency and the NFL Draft.

While some names will likely depart, the ‘bubble players’ like Eric Kendricks, Dalvin Tomlinson, or Patrick Peterson may indeed stay with the Vikings.

3. A Call for Hybrid Defenders

Lewis Cine Pitched a Shutout vs. Lions. And Not in a Good Way.
Aug 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Lewis Cine (6) warms up before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

A nod to his Belichickian past, Flores touted a desire for defenders who can play multiple positions. In an evolving NFL, this trend is commonplace and will become supersized by Flores and the Vikings.

That’s good news for Lewis Cine and Brian Asamoah, two men with freakish physical tendencies who may be considered undersized for their position.

Moreover, the NFL Draft is 70 days away, and hybrid defenders could be on the menu.

4. A 1-and-Done Season Not Guaranteed

Vikings Probably Have 1 Full
Dec 15, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores talks with an assistant coach during the second half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports.

Reporters asked Flores about the possibility of an exit after just one year because he’ll eventually be coveted again as head coach. He replied, “I’m where my feet are.”

Flores also seemed genuinely excited and flattered to be the Vikings defensive coordinator. His enthusiasm did not scream, “one-year pit stop with the Vikings, baby,” or anything of the sort.

He’ll still get head coaching interest if he fixes the Vikings defense in one year, but he portrayed his role in Minnesota as longer-term than advertised.

5. Super Bowl Stakes Renewed

Vikings Viewed in Same
Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell celebrates the win after the game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

O’Connell dropped his “championship standard” line while Flores uplifted his motivation with the Vikings — to win a Super Bowl.

If anyone is still on the fence about the 2023 offseason, the Vikings are emphatically not rebuilding, at least not in the vein of a team like the Houston Texans or Chicago Bears.

O’Connell’s and Flores’ words were crystal clear on Wednesday — they want to win a Super Bowl in 2023, not down the road in 2027 or so.

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,’ and The Doors (the band).

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