One Team with Flashing Lights Could Steal Brian Flores

Flores Flourish
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

The rumor mill has suggested for a few months that Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores will be choosy about his next head coaching job after getting burned by the Miami Dolphins two years ago.

Flores may not be enthused by an unstable organization, like the Carolina Panthers, for example.

One Team with Flashing Lights Could Steal Brian Flores

But one team absolutely checks every box for Flores — the New England Patriots.

1 Primary Position
Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores chatting with Tatum Everett on February 15th, 2023. The Vikings hired Flores from the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he was a linebackers coach for one season.

Of course, it is unclear if New England will part ways with future Hall of Famer Bill Belichick, but tidbits tend to suggest he’s in his final three games as the Patriots’ boss. New England’s brass could shine it up and call it a mutual disconnection, but there’s a palpable chance that Belichick will depart Boston after 24 years on the job.

The Patriots are 3-11, eliminated from the postseason, and presumably sizing up the 2024 NFL Draft, where they can pluck Caleb Williams (USC) or Drake Maye (North Carolina) at quarterback.

Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports.

And if Belichick exits stage left, Flores has the resume and familiarity to lead the Patriots in 2024 and beyond. The 42-year-old spent 15 years in New England, serving as a scouting assistant, draft scout, special teams assistant, assistant special teams coach, defensive assistant, safeties coach, and linebackers coach. He took the big job in 2019 for the Dolphins, a relationship marred and ended by controversy after the 2021 season.

Flores then took over for a season as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ linebackers coach before landing with the Vikings as defensive coordinator.

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.

But this is the job for Flores. Fifteen seasons associated with a franchise must account for something, and considering Flores’ success in Miami and Minnesota, his resume should scream no-brainer for the Patriots ownership that might search for a head coach in less than a month.

Minnesota’s defense was plagued by porousness in 2022 under Ed Donatell, ranking 30th in points allowed and 31st in yards allowed. Under Flores for one season, the Vikings rank seventh in points allowed and 13th in yards allowed after 14 games — a magnificent turnaround.

Flores told reporters two weeks ago about his future, “My message to our guys yesterday was we’ve got 35 guaranteed days. That’s all we got that’s guaranteed. I asked them to put everything into these 35 days.”

In theory, he could stay with the Vikings and hold out for a different head coaching job in 2025. But that’s to be determined.

“I can’t give that message and not heed that message. My focus is on these guys, this team, these next five games because that’s all we really have. I understand the question, but that’s where my focus is,” Flores added.

Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota has a coinflip’s chance of reaching the postseason, needing to win two of its final three games against the Detroit Lions (play them twice) and Green Bay Packers.

“But I’m really focused on the task at hand. Like I said, my message to those guys was: We got five weeks. Let’s put everything into these five weeks and not come out of it with any regrets and saying, ‘Hey, my focus is on this, so it wasn’t on you guys,'” Flores added during the team’s bye week. “I think these guys work too hard. They’ve put a lot into the season already. I understand the question, but that is really not where I’m at right now.”

On the whole, if you, the Vikings fan, want Flores to stay in the Twin Cities, the Patriots should be considered your foremost foe.


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.

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