Brian Flores made headlines this week with the news that he is suing the NFL and its teams for discriminatory hiring practices.
That said, Flores is still hopeful that he can land one of the two coaching jobs for which he is still in the running.
Flores is among the finalists for the Texans head coach position and he had his first interview with the Saints this week as well. He made sure to let both teams know about his impending lawsuit so they wouldn’t be blindsided by it and so they would know he still wants to coach in 2022.
“Before we filed the class-action, I sent messages to both teams letting them know that we would be filing,” Flores said, per Rod Walker of NOLA.com. “But also letting them know that I am very interested in coaching and leading either of those teams.”
Is that, along with his impressive coaching resume, enough to convince a team to hire Flores? It could be tricky, but it’s at least possible.
Here’s a breakdown of the Texans and Saints coaching searches and who, along with Flores, comprises each team’s top candidates.
Where Brian Flores stands in Texans coaching search
Flores is among the finalists for the Texans’ coaching job. Houston has interviewed — or requested second interviews with — four candidates. They are Flores, Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, former NFL quarterback Josh McCown and Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell.
That said, only three candidates seem like realistic options for Houston, as O’Connell reportedly will land the Vikings’ job. So it will likely come down to Gannon, McCown and Flores.
Of the bunch, Flores is easily the most qualified. He has three seasons of head coaching experience under his belt and has posted winning seasons in each of the last two years. He also helped Miami’s defense go from worst in the NFL in 2019 to No. 1 in takeaways and top-10 in scoring in 2020 and saw the unit perform well during the second half of the 2021 NFL season.
Gannon is an up-and-coming defensive coordinator, but the 39-year-old has just one year of coordinator experience under his belt. Granted, Flores had never held a full-time defensive coordinator role before the Dolphins hired him, but he was heavily involved in running the Patriots’ defense during his final years with the team. And at this point, he has far more experience than Gannon.
Meanwhile, McCown has no coaching experience, but he spent the 2020 season on the Texans’ practice squad and mentored some of the quarterbacks. Still, that hardly makes him qualified to be a first-time NFL head coach.
So, will the Texans still consider hiring Flores? NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that Houston was “extremely interested” in Flores and that they could still pursue him if they believe him to be a major upgrade.
“Houston Texans are a team that was extremely interested in him,” Rapoport said. “You [can] say ‘how would they hire him?’ The answer would be . . . they do what’s best for them, and worry about everything else after that. One thing I know about Nick Caserio is he will do what’s best for his football team and not really care about the ramifications or repercussions. So, potentially that could be in play.”
However, there’s one big issue that would need to be resolved. Flores referenced the Texans’ firing of David Culley after one season in his lawsuit. It will be interesting to see if that impacts how Houston’s front office or ownership group views Flores’ candidacy.
CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson is reporting that it will not, and that Flores remains a finalist for the job despite his lawsuit.
As of this am, I’m told the #Texans still have not made a final decision on their head coach, but Brian Flores is still considered a finalist–even after his filing of a class-action lawsuit in Manhattan federal court against the NFL–along with Jonathan Gannon & Josh McCown. 1/3
— IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) February 3, 2022
Where Brian Flores stands in Saints coaching search
The Saints will likely be the final NFL team to select a head coach during this cycle. Why? Because Sean Payton took some time to mull his future before electing to retire from the NFL, so the Saints got a late jump on their coaching search.
So far, New Orleans has interviewed former Eagles coach Doug Pederson, Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn and Flores. The team is also planning to interview its own coordinators Dennis Allen (defense) and Darren Rizzi (special teams) for the job and requested interviews from Byron Leftwich (Bucs) and Brian Daboll (who was hired to coach the Giants).
The Saints have a diverse group of options and Pederson, Allen and Flores all have previous head coaching experience. If the Saints want a proven option, Flores could fit the bill.
Per Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football, the Saints met with Flores at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
Saints top officials are dining with Brian Flores in Mobile
— Nick Underhill (@nick_underhill) February 1, 2022
This is just their first meeting with Flores, but they have yet to request any second interviews to date.
So, Flores stands a chance of getting this job. However, given that Allen would provide continuity since he has been with the team since 2015, the New Orleans front office could favor him for that role.
Will Brian Flores get a coaching job in 2022?
The answer to that question is still up in the air, as Rapoport explained.
“Flores might get a job,” Rapoport said on NFL Network. “It certainly seems unlikely.”
Rapoport added that Flores is a “great candidate” and “should get [a job].” However, given his lawsuit, it may be hard for him to land one of the two jobs remaining for him.
Perhaps either the Texans or the Saints could surprise, but with the Texans involved in Flores’ dispute and the Saints having a potential in-house replacement for Payton, it doesn’t seem likely.
Original source here
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