Could Steelers defensive assistant and linebackers coach Brian Flores be heading to the Arizona Cardinals? Thar now appears far more likely, as according to a report by USA Today, former Saints head coach Sean Payton is ‘not in the mix’ for the job.
It comes on the heels of Flores shooting up the boards to co-favorite along with Payton for the head coaching job. However, now with Payton reportedly out of that mix, it would seem that Flores is gaining steam. He has plenty of connections with new Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort, as both spent over a decade together with one another in New England on the same staff.
Yesterday, the Browns hired Jim Schwartz as their defensive coordinator, passing on Flores for the job. There is a growing sense around the league that Flores is sitting back and waiting to scan his options before making an ultimate decision on just what to do with his career moving forward.
Regardless, as it stands, Flores’ long odds to take over in Phoenix have improved to +350, which makes him the co-favorite for the job. The board for the head coach search in Arizona may have been reset with Ossenfort joining the organization, but with the past connections, Brian Flores has to be at the front of their mind as a potential favorite.
Over three seasons, Brian Flores went 24-25 as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins before landing in Pittsburgh this past off-season. If he does end up taking over for the Cardinals, he’ll have the chance to build around former No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray, who signed a five-year, $230 million extension last year. On defense, Arizona is losing iconic defensive lineman J.J Watt to retirement. Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins recently expressed his desire to be traded, which could provide some more draft capital for the new coach to work with.