If it’s up to the Miami Dolphins, the New England Patriots reportedly will lose their de-facto defensive coordinator.
The Dolphins are targeting linebackers coach Brian Flores to fill their head-coaching vacancy, sources told NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport on Friday. The Dolphins “have narrowed the focus of their search” to Flores, Rapoport reported. Rapoport also threw in “no deal yet, nothing official” to his report.
Flores interviewed with the Dolphins, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos and Green Bay Packers. The Browns, Broncos and Packers have hired head coaches.
The Dolphins also have interviewed Dallas Cowboys defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator Kris Richard and their own special teams coach/associate head coach Darren Rizzi.
Flores would have to agree to become the Dolphins’ head coach. Nothing would become official until after the Patriots are finished with the postseason. The Patriots play the Los Angeles Chargers in the divisional round of the playoffs Sunday.
The Patriots lost their defensive coordinator to the Detroit Lions last offseason when Matt Patricia was hired as head coach. They have no obvious candidate to take over as defensive coordinator and play-caller next season, though former Ohio State defensive coordinator and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano could be an outside candidate. Regardless, head coach Bill Belichick likely would take on a greater role on the defensive side of the ball.
If Flores is hired by the Dolphins, this would be the first time a former Patriots coordinator has taken a head-coaching job in the AFC East since Eric Mangini left for the New York Jets in 2006. Nick Saban, who served as Belichick’s defensive coordinator with the Browns in the 1990s, also was the Dolphins’ head coach in 2005 and 2006.