Who Is Brian Flores? Patriots Defenders Have High Praise For Up-And-Coming Coach


Jan 3, 2018

FOXBORO, Mass. — According to reports, three New England Patriots assistant coaches have received requests for head-coaching interviews.

Two were obvious: offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, both of whom interviewed for jobs last winter before deciding to remain in their current posts. The third was a bit of a surprise.

The Arizona Cardinals reportedly have requested to interview New England linebackers coach Brian Flores for their head-coaching vacancy — a name casual Patriots fans might not have heard before.

So, who is Brian Flores?

Well, he’s a 36-year-old former Boston College linebacker who’s moved his way up the ranks since getting his start as a Patriots scouting assistant in 2004. He spent three seasons as the team’s safeties coach before taking over the linebackers in 2016 and is viewed as the defensive coordinator-in-waiting if Patricia departs this offseason.

“I would just say, first thing, he’s always prepared,” safety Duron Harmon said Wednesday. “Just working under him as my safety coach for my first three years, we were always prepared. He tried his best to put everybody in that room in the best position, always tried to get his players on the field and just literally had us ready to go each and every week.”

Between leaving the scouting department in 2008 and earning his first position coach role in 2012, Flores spent time as an offensive, defensive and special teams assistant — experience that will serve him well if and when he takes on his first head-coaching job.

“He’s a guy who has been in here — he’s been in scouting, worked with some special teams, did the offensive side of the ball for a little bit, then did safeties and now doing linebackers,” Harmon said. “So I just think the idea of him learning it all is really helping him become a good football coach, and I’m excited for where he’s at right now.”

Cornerback Eric Rowe does not work directly with Flores, but he said he often receives guidance from the young coach.

“Brian is a great coach,” Rowe said. “I notice him on the sideline when he’s giving players tips. He even comes to me sometimes. He’s like, ‘Hey, be aware for this.’ Even though he doesn’t coach my position, he’s always telling us to read your keys and be aware of whatever the situation is. Just stuff like that gets us ready.”

Flores also coordinates the Patriots’ red-zone defense, which has been a strength of the team this season. New England allowed touchdowns in just 43.8 percent of opponents’ red-zone trips during the regular season — fifth-best in the NFL — and that average dropped to 34.6 percent over the final eight games.

Safety Devin McCourty gave Flores an unprompted shoutout Wednesday when asked about the team’s red-zone success.

“It’s funny,” McCourty said. “I just told Flo today that when I talk to media, I quote him as much as possible, because he does the red area, and he always says every time we get a red-area stop, we’re closer to winning the game.”

As of now, the Cardinals are Flores’ only known suitor. Patricia reportedly will interview with Arizona, the Detroit Lions and the New York Giants, while McDaniels has sit-downs with the Giants, Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears on his calendar.

Thumbnail photo via Chris Humphreys/USA TODAY Sports Images
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