The Atlanta Falcons have requested permission to interview Steelers senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach Brian Flores for their defensive coordinator vacancy, according to a report by Josina Anderson of CBS Sports.
The Falcons are looking to replace Dean Pees, who announced his retirement on Jan. 9. Atlanta finished the 2022 season No. 23 in scoring defense, but No. 7 in yards per play allowed.
Flores has also interviewed with the Cleveland Browns for their defensive coordinator opening and the Arizona Cardinals for their head coach job. He has also been linked to head coaching vacancies with the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans, though he has not officially interviewed with either of those teams.
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 from 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 whether it’s as a coordinator or head coach, it seems likely the Flores will receive a promotion at some point this offseason, and leave the Steelers with a defensive vacancy to fill.