The Browns are looking for a new defensive coordinator, and it appears that Steelers senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach Brian Flores is the favorite to land the job.
Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer pegged Flores as the favorite in the job search, with Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo being on the high list as well. Breer added that the Browns view Flores both as a great coach, and as an option who could ‘kick the legs out from under the Steelers.
“If I had to peg a favorite right now, I’d probably go with a Pittsburgh senior defensive assistant, linebackers coach Brian Flores, and I have heard owner Jimmy Haslam is a fan of his,” Breer wrote.
The Browns requested to interview Flores on Monday after they canned defensive coordinator Joe Woods. Pittsburgh hired Flores this last offseason and he quickly latched on with the inside linebackers and mentored them throughout the season. On Monday, Mike Tomlin even gave a shoutout to Flores for his role in defensive game planning during the season.
With Flores as part of its coaching staff, the Steelers’ defense ranked 13th in the league in yards allowed per game this season (330.4) and 19th in passing yards allowed (222.3). The unit graded out in the top 10 in both rushing yards allowed (108.1) and points per game (20.4).
Flores has also been linked to head coaching vacancies in Houston and Denver thus far. He coached Miami for three seasons, helping shape the Dolphins into a legitimate crew and posting the team’s first back-to-back winning season since 2003, before being fired last off-season. He landed with the Steelers after filing a lawsuit against the NFL and three teams, alleging racial discrimination in hiring practices. He also alleged that Miami owner Stephen Ross pressured him into recruiting a “prominent quarterback” following the 2019 season.