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Steelers Rumors: Brian Flores Defensive Coordinator Interview Requested by Vikings

Adam WellsJanuary 21, 2023

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 23: Former Head Coach Brian Flores of the Miami Dolphins on the field prior to the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Hard Rock Stadium on October 23, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
Megan Briggs/Getty Images

After firing Ed Donatell this week, the Minnesota Vikings want to speak with Brian Flores about their opening at defensive coordinator.

Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Vikings have requested permission from the Pittsburgh Steelers to interview Flores.

Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell announced Thursday that Donatell wouldn't return as defensive coordinator.

The move came after Minnesota's defense allowed 431 yards to the New York Giants in a 31-24 loss in their NFC Wild Card Game. The unit ranked 28th in points allowed and 31st in yards allowed during the regular season.

Flores spent 2022 as a senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach on Mike Tomlin's staff in Pittsburgh.

The 41-year-old's class-action lawsuit against the NFL and its teams alleging racial discrimination in its hiring practices has been on ice since October while a New York judge decides whether to have the case proceed in open court or go to arbitration, per CBS Sports' Jonathan Jones.

"We hired Brian because we think he is a qualified coach and will be an asset to us," Steelers owner Art Rooney II said. "You know, the lawsuit can create an awkward situation at times. But, irrespective of the lawsuit, we remain committed—I remain committed —to improving the situation in every way we can, and we've been working hard to do that."

Prior to being hired by the Steelers, Flores spent three seasons as head coach of the Miami Dolphins. He went 24-25 in 49 games before being fired in January 2022.

Flores worked on Bill Belichick's staff with the New England Patriots from 2008 to '18. He also worked in the front office as a scouting assistant and pro scout for four seasons from 2004 to '07.

O'Connell was a quarterback for the Patriots during the 2008 season when Flores was a special teams assistant.