Steelers Rumors: Brian Flores Head Coaching Interview Requested by Cardinals

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 13, 2023

Pittsburgh Steelers senior defensive assistant Brian Flores works with the defense as they go through drills during practice at NFL football training camp in the Latrobe Memorial Stadium in Latrobe, Pa., Monday, Aug. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

The Arizona Cardinals have requested an interview with Pittsburgh Steelers senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach Brian Flores for their vacant head coaching position, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Flores spent 2022 with the Steelers after serving as head coach of the Miami Dolphins for three seasons from 2019 through 2021.

Arizona's head coaching job became available this week when the Cardinals fired Kliff Kingsbury, who went 4-13 this season and 28-37-1 overall in four seasons as Cards head coach.

During his time with the Dolphins, Flores went 24-25 overall and posted winning records in both 2020 and 2021, going 10-6 and 9-8, respectively.

Miami narrowly missed the playoffs at the conclusion of the 2020 and 2021 season, resulting in the Dolphins making the surprising decision to fire Flores.

Flores filed a lawsuit against the NFL, the Dolphins and two other teams, alleging that he was a victim of racial discrimination in getting fired by the Dolphins, as well as during the subsequent interview process with the Denver Broncos and New York Giants.

When Flores did not land a head coaching job last offseason, he was hired by Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin to serve as a key assistant on the defensive side of the ball.

With Flores on the staff, the Steelers went 9-8 this season, missing the playoffs on the final day of the regular season. They also ranked 13th in total defense and 10th in scoring defense, both of which were significant improvements from 2021.

The Cardinals have reached the playoffs just once in the past seven seasons, and they are coming off their worst season since 2018 when they went 3-13.

After going 11-6 and reaching the playoffs in 2021, the Cards got off to a slow start this season and saw any and all playoff hopes destroyed when quarterback Kyler Murray suffered a torn ACL.

If Flores lands Arizona's head coaching job, he will have his work cut out for him on both sides of the ball.

Offensively, it is unclear if Murray will be ready for the start of the 2023 season, meaning the Cards may have to try to bring in another solid quarterback to fill in until he is healthy.

On defense, the Cardinals have some talent, but they ranked 31st in the NFL this season in points allowed at 26.4 per game.

Per ProFootballTalk's Josh Alper, the Cardinals have also received permission to interview former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, and they are expected to conduct an in-house interview with defensive coordinator Vance Joseph as well.