Brian Flores is one of the most reputable and respected coaches in the NFL. He held various positions within the New England Patriots organization for nearly 15 years. After winning Super Bowl 53 with New England, Flores was hired by the Miami Dolphins to be their head coach. Flores had two fairly successful seasons but was unexpectedly fired by the team early this past off-season. Flores currently has an active lawsuit against the NFL and three of its teams, and was, before this weekend, still looking for a job. After a talk with Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, Flores was offered, and accepted, a job with the Steelers. This hiring will bring many great benefits to the Steelers organization.
How Brian Flores Hire Benefits Pittsburgh Steelers
The hiring of Brian Flores could not have come at a better time for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Their run defense was one of the worst in the league last year; in fact, they sported one of the worst overall defenses too. Flores is an expert defensive coach and will really help bolster the Steelers struggling defense.
Before being hired, Flores was having a rough time. He was fired from the Dolphins in mid-January, which was unexpected; he had a 24-25 record as the head coach and seemed to have a bright future ahead. However, there were some disagreements over Flores’ drafting style and his characteristics as a leader. The Dolphins owner, Stephen Ross, cited that there were issues with power control and certain team dynamics.
How Did Flores Land in Pittsburgh?
Flores decided to look for several other jobs and was a finalist for many head coaching jobs, including the Houston Texans and New York Giants. He did not end up getting either and then brought up a lawsuit against the NFL and three other teams. Flores alleges racial discrimination in the hiring practices of the preceding organizations.
Despite his ongoing lawsuit, Flores was still interested in finding a job for next season. It was revealed that Flores called coach Mike Tomlin to ask for some advice. Eventually, the conversation led to Tomlin offering a job to Flores. He gladly accepted the role to join the Steelers and their world-class organization. Flores will serve as the team’s senior defensive assistant and the linebackers coach.
The hiring of Brian Flores will bring many benefits to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is a fantastic defensive coach and should help the defense a lot, and is also an attractive, luring coach for free agents who wanted to play with them. In the long run, this move will help both Flores and the Steelers tremendously.
What Does Flores Bring to the Table?
Flores brings defensive expertise to the Steelers. He has plenty of experience coaching certain units of a team’s defense. He has three years of head coaching experience with the Dolphins, and will almost certainly act as one of the higher-up coaches in the organization.
Is His Hiring a Good Move?
For the Steelers, this move is the steal of the off-season so far. Flores is one of the better head coaches in the NFL, and the Steelers got him for a much smaller role. Pittsburgh gains a top-tier coach at the position level; Flores is not even a coordinator, let alone a head coach now. The Steelers linebackers unit will make a big jump under Flores.
For Flores, this move seems very odd. He is very overqualified for his position and likely would have been hired for another team’s head coaching position. But, he takes a power cut and a pay cut to work with one of the best-run organizations in football.
What is His Expected Role and How Will the Defense Change?
Flores’ official job title is the senior defensive assistant and the linebackers coach. He will likely serve as second-in-command for the Steelers defensive unit. He will get to work with T.J. Watt, who won this year’s Defensive Player of the Year award. It will be no easy change to fix the front seven, but Flores should be able to help significantly. Hopefully, the Steelers can sign or draft another sound linebacker should the team let Joe Schobert and Robert Spillane walk. These moves would leave Flores with a fresh, young, and powerful group.
Luring, Attractive Hire
Flores’ Relationships, Possible Team-Ups
One of the benefits of hiring Flores has absolutely nothing to do with him as a coach; it deals with him as a leader and a friend. Flores has been on the staff for several teams now and has without a doubt built up relationships with many of the game’s finest. Most notably, Flores coached cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore and J.C. Jackson in New England.
Both Gilmore and Jackson are free agents this off-season. The Steelers, who will likely be in need of cornerback depth, could turn to either or both of these players. It is assumed that both Gilmore and Jackson have a good relationship with Flores and have much respect for him. If they know they have a coach that they can trust on the Steelers, they will likely consider Pittsburgh as one of their top options. Adding either of these corners would drastically help the Steelers secondary, and the hiring of Flores makes that much more likely.
Another name that is connected to Flores is Pro-Bowl superstar quarterback Deshaun Watson. He is currently facing 22 sexual misconduct lawsuits, but a ruling in the cases is expected soon. If Watson is allowed to play again, he will seek a trade away from the Houston Texans. Watson has publicly said that he wants to play with Flores, and now the Steelers could be one of his options for a trade destination. It will take a lot to get Watson (likely seven assets, including three first-round picks), but if he can come to Pittsburgh, they could easily become contenders again. Flores makes this move a tad bit more likely.
How the Steelers Can Rebuild a Successful Defense
The Steelers can use their monetary resources (over $40 million), their draft picks, and their allure of good coaching to their advantage. They need to rebuild parts of their defense; getting one sound player at each of the three lines (line, linebackers, secondary) would help a lot. Flores could have an influence on who comes to Pittsburgh. The Steelers can rebuild their once-astounding defense and could become one of the most respected defenses again.
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