NFL Rumors: Patriots Won’t Have Official Defensive Coordinator In 2018

New England Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores

Photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images

Matt Patricia’s successor in New England will be … no one, at least for the time being.

With Patricia leaving last month to take over as head coach of the Detroit Lions, the Patriots plan to enter the 2018 season without an official defensive coordinator, league sources told Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday.

Linebackers coach Brian Flores widely is viewed as the team’s defensive coordinator-in-waiting, and he will take on a larger role as the Patriots’ primary defensive play-caller, per Robinson’s sources. He will not immediately receive the DC title, however.

As Robinson noted, this setup mirrors how the Patriots handled Patricia’s initial ascension to coordinator. After former defensive coordinator Dean Pees departed following the 2009 season, Patricia made the defensive calls for two seasons — one as linebackers coach, the other as safeties coach — before receiving an official promotion in 2012.

Flores, 37, worked in the Patriots’ scouting department for four seasons before joining Bill Belichick’s coaching staff in 2008. He interviewed for the Arizona Cardinals’ head-coaching job earlier this year.

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