Minnesota Vikings Hire Brian Flores, Who Is Currently Suing The NFL, As Defensive Coordinator

Videos by OutKick

The Minnesota Vikings defense cost them a chance to advance in the NFL playoffs after allowing 31 points to Daniel Jones and the New York Giants. To help fix the problem, the team reportedly hired former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores.

The team fired defensive coordinator Ed Donatell after just one season with the team. Minnesota had the seventh-worst defensive expected points added (EPA) in the league this season. No other division winner finished outside the Top 20 in defensive EPA.

Enter: Brian Flores. The Dolphins fired Flores — who served as their head coach for three seasons — following the 2021 season. The former head coach filed a lawsuit against the league alleging discriminatory hiring practices for minority coaches.

Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores is now the defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings.
Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores is now the defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings. (Photo credit: South Florida Sun Sentinel via Getty Images)

Because of the lawsuit, the market for Flores in last season’s hiring cycle was relatively cool. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Mike Tomlin hired him to be a senior defensive assistant. Teryl Austin served as Pittsburgh’s defensive coordinator.

Brian Flores finally holds defensive coordinator title in NFL

Flores now becomes defensive coordinator of the Vikings, which is the first time he’s officially held that title in the NFL. He previously served in several roles with the New England Patriots, including safeties coach and linebackers coach. The team won four Super Bowls with Flores on the defensive coaching staff.

The Patriots did not have an official defensive coordinator after Matt Patricia left in 2017 to take the Detroit Lions head coach position. The team viewed Flores as one of their main defensive coaches, despite not being holding the defensive coordinator title.

The Arizona Cardinals named Brian Flores as one of the finalists for their head coach position this offseason, but Flores either declined or the Cardinals moved on to other candidates. The Denver Broncos also reportedly interviewed Flores for the role of defensive coordinator.

Despite the other opportunities, Flores lands in Minnesota with second-year head coach Kevin O’Connell looking to turn around a poor defense.

The Vikings finished 13-4 in the regular season but lost to the Giants in the NFC Wild Card.

Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @OutkickDanZ

Written by Dan Zaksheske

Dan began his sports media career at ESPN, where he survived for nearly a decade. Once the Stockholm Syndrome cleared, he made his way to Outkick. He is secure enough in his masculinity to admit he is a cat-enthusiast with three cats, one of which is named “Brady” because his wife wishes she were married to Tom instead of him.

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply