Some Believe Brian Flores Will Leave Vikings after All

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.

There’s one more hurdle to leap for those who want Brian Flores to remain the Minnesota Vikings’ defensive coordinator.

That’s Boston College.

Some Believe Brian Flores Will Leave Vikings after All

Head coach Jeff Hafley, who led Boston College for four seasons, accepted a job with the Vikings’ foremost rival, the Green Bay Packers, last week as defensive coordinator, opening a spot for the Eagles’ top job.

Flores Will Leave
Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores takes over the team’s defense at an introductory press conference on February 15th, 2023, in Eagan, Minnesota.

According to some, Flores could be the guy.

BC Interruption’s Niraj Patel sized up Boston College’s incoming search for a head coach last week, and Flores made the list. Patel wrote about the Vikings’ defensive boss, “This would be electric. Flores did a great job coaching an undermanned Vikings defense. The BC alum has however, exclusively coached in the NFL. Despite having an ongoing lawsuit that might be cause for him being overlooked for HC interviews, this seems more like a pipe-dream for the Eagle faithful.”

The Vikings’ defense climbed from a 24th ranking per defensive DVOA in 2022 to 11th-best in 2023, thanks to Flores. Losing him to Boston College or anywhere would force Minnesota to start over on defense for a third consecutive year.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports.

Patel added, “His sights are probably set on another NFL head coaching gig, and returning to BC seems like it would be beneath him right now.” It’s all worth nothing that Flores was at the very top of the list per BC Interruption, at least in chronological order.

Minnesota’s defense played absolutely phenomenally between Weeks 4 through 14, ranking tops in the league per EPA/Play, a metric adjudicating expected points added. As Flores’ group ascended the NFL, folks took notice and began to whisper that he could easily be a one-hit-wonder for the Vikings. So, Vikings fans treasured what they had at the moment and bided time to determine if Flores would return to the head coaching ranks in 2024.

The rumor mill suggested Flores would only jump at the big job if a sturdy franchise had an HC opening, as he appeared to experience a raw deal with the Miami Dolphins after the 2021 season ended. Flores coached the Dolphins from 2019 to 2021 before cutting ties in rather controversial fashion.

Flores Flourish
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Down the stretch of the 2023 season, the Flores defense tapered off, beginning in the 4th Quarter of a game at the Cincinnati Bengals. It never recovered. The Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers took turns whipping Minnesota’s defense, and the damage worked to the tune of the Vikings missing the postseason. Perhaps the defensive dip weakened Flores’ shine as a head coach because he did not interview for any HC jobs this cycle, even though eight jobs were available.

If Flores were to accept a promotion elsewhere next year in the NFL, Minnesota would receive a compensatory draft pick in the wake of his departure.

Tennessee Titans Head Coach Mike Vrabel reacts to a Titans penalty against the Seattle Seahawks during their game at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023. © Denny Simmons / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Other candidates mentioned by Patel? Al Washington (Notre Dame), Don Brown (Massachusetts), Rob Chudzinski (Boston College), Scot Loeffler (Bowling Green), and Mike Vrabel, among others.

Vikings defensive passing game coordinator Daronte Jones interviewed for the New York Giants’ open defensive coordinator job last weekend.

Flores was a linebacker at Boston College from 1999 to 2003.

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).

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