Brian Flores made headlines this week with news that he is suing the NFL and its teams over discriminatory recruiting practices.
That said, Flores is still hopeful that he can land one of the two coaching jobs he still holds.
Flores is one of the final contenders for the Texas head coach position and he also had his first interview with the Saints this week. He made sure to let both teams know about his impending lawsuit so they wouldn’t be blindsided by it and so they would know he still wants to coach in 2022.
“Before we filed the class action, I sent messages to both teams letting them know that we were going to file,” Flores said, Rod Walker of NOLA.com. “But also let them know that I’m very interested in coaching and leading either of those teams.”
Will that, coupled with his impressive coaching record, be enough to convince a team to hire Flores? It can be complicated, but at least it’s possible.
Below is a breakdown of the Texas and Saints coach searches and who, along with Flores, include each team’s top contenders.
Where Brian Flores stands in search of the Texas coach
Flores was among the finalists for the Texas coaching job. Houston interviewed – or requested a second interview with – four candidates. They are Flores, Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, former NFL quarterback Josh McCown and Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell.
That said, only three candidates seem realistic options for Houston, like O’Connell was supposed to do the Viking job. So it will likely go to Gannon, McCown and Flores.
Of those, Flores was easily the most qualified. He has three seasons of head coach experience under him and has had winning seasons in each of the last two years. He also helped Miami’s defense go from worst in the NFL in 2019 to #1 in scores and top 10 in goalscoring in 2020 and saw the unit perform well into the second half of the NFL season. 2021.
Gannon is a burgeoning defensive coordinator, but the 39-year-old only has a year of defensive coordinator experience. True, Flores had never held a full-time defensive coordinator role before the Dolphins hired him, but he was heavily involved in running the Patriots’ defense during his final years with the team. And at this point, he has more experience than Gannon.
Meanwhile, McCown has no coaching experience, but he has spent the 2020 season on the Texans training team and mentoring several quarterbacks. However, that hardly qualifies him to be an NFL head coach for the first time.
So, would Texans still consider hiring Flores? NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that Houston is “extremely interested” in Flores and that they could still go after him if they believe he will be a major upgrade.
“Houston Texans is a team that is extremely interested in him,” said Rapoport. “Friend [can] say ‘how will they hire him?’ The answer would be. . . they do what’s best for them and worry about everything else after that. One thing I know about Nick Caserio is that he will do what’s best for his team and doesn’t really care about ramifications or consequences. So there’s a chance that could come into play. “
However, there is one big problem that needs to be solved. Flores refers to Texas firing David Culley after a season in his lawsuit. It will be interesting to see if that affects how Houston’s main office or ownership group perceives Flores’ candidacy.
CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson is reporting that it won’t, and Flores remains a finalist for the job despite his lawsuit.
At this time, I told #Texans have yet to make a final decision on their head coach, but Brian Flores is still considered a finalist – even after he filed a class-action lawsuit in Manhattan federal court against the NFL – along with Jonathan Gannon & Josh McCown. 1/3
– IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) February 3, 2022
Where Brian Flores Stands In Search of Coach Saints
The Saints will likely be the last NFL team to pick a head coach this cycle. Why? Because Sean Payton took some time to think about his future before deciding to retire from the NFL, the Saints took a late jump in their search for a coach.
So far, New Orleans has interviewed former Eagles coach Doug Pederson, Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn and Flores. The team is also planning to interview coordinators Dennis Allen (defensive) and Darren Rizzi (special team) for the job and request interviews from Byron Leftwich (Bucs) and Brian Daboll (who was hired to Coaching Giants).
The Saints have a wide selection and Pederson, Allen and Flores all have prior head coaching experience. If the Saints want a proven option, Flores could fit the bill.
According to Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football, the Saints met Flores at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
Top Saints officials are dining with Brian Flores in Mobile
– Nick Underhill (@nick_underhill) February 1, 2022
This is only their first meeting with Flores, but they have yet to request any second interviews so far.
So Flores has a chance to get this job. However, with Allen set to continue operating as of 2015, the New Orleans senior office may favor him for that role.
Will Brian Flores get a coach job in 2022?
Rapoport explained the answer to that question is still being worked on.
“Flores can get a job,” Rapoport said on the NFL Network. “It certainly seems unlikely.”
Rapoport added that Flores is a “great candidate” and “should get it.” [a job]”However, with his lawsuit, it may be difficult for him to give either of the other two jobs to himself.
Perhaps the Texans or the Saints could come as a surprise, but with the Texans joining the fray of Flores and the Saints potentially replacing Payton, that doesn’t seem likely.