Cardinals Connection: New GM Hire Could Land Brian Flores in Arizona
Brian Flores is in contention to land the Cardinals head coaching position, and the hire of a new general manager could expedite that process to him landing in the desert.
On Monday, the Cardinals announced they would hire Tennessee Titans Director of Player Personnel Monti Ossenfort to help lead them into a new era, a completely new outside hire from owner Michael Bidwell that will set Arizona on a different path than the one Steve Keim had laid out for them.
Ossenfort has been in the NFL for over two decades, starting out with New England. However, while coming up with the Patriots, it was the same time period that Brian Flores started as a scout and eventually transitioned over into a coach for Bill Belichick and his staff.
Ossenfort and Flores overlapped in New England for over a decade, and there is little doubt that they know each other well. Late last week, the Cardinals requested to interview Flores for their vacant head coaching position after firing Kliff Kingsbury. Now, this connection only strengthens those ties even more between Ossenfort and Flores.
RELATED: Brian Flores to Interview for Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Job
The New England connection could make sense. But if Bidwell is looking for a complete culture change, Flores’ coaching style and culture building would be ideal for the job as well. This is just one of the positions that he has interviewed for following the end of the season. But with DeMeco Ryans near the top of Arizona’s list as well, it seems that a defensive coach is not a deterrent for Arizona.
The Steelers hired Flores to be their senior defensive assistant back in February after he was fired as head coach of the Miami Dolphins and unable to find another head coach or coordinator position after suing the NFL and alleging racial bias in hiring practices, among other things, last January.
With Flores and new defensive coordinator Teryl Austin running the ship, the Steelers’ defense improved dramatically in 2021. The Steelers went from the No. 20 scoring defense to No. 10, and went from No. 32 against the run to No. 9, despite missing star outside linebacker T.J. Watt for seven games.