Falcons Hire Ryan Nielsen, Pass on Brian Flores for DC Job
The Atlanta Falcons have made their defensive coordinator hire, and it is not Brian Flores who will be heading down to the NFC South as their defensive coordinator.
Saints co-defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen was hired by the division rival Falcons instead of Flores, meaning the Steelers’ senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach is off the board for another job. He still interviewed for the Minnesota Vikings’ defensive coordinator job and the Cardinals’ head coaching position.
However, it seems that Flores is continuing to bide his time before deciding his future. The week at the Senior Bowl could be key for seeing if Flores stays in Pittsburgh beyond just one year or if he heads elsewhere for a promotion from his current position.
Brian Flores has plenty of options after joining the Steelers for the season. His impact was tangible on a defense that turned around in a big way in the second half of the season. 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.
Regardless of what happens from here on out, Flores is deserving of a coordinator position as evidenced by his past in such roles. The only question is if one of those roles ends up coming to him this season or if they will come to him once again down the line.