Vikings DC Brian Flores Shows League He Still Plans to Head Coach Again

Minnesota Vikings, Brian Flores
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings’ Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores joined the Vikings after the 2022-23 NFL season after Head Coach Kevin O’Connell fired former Defensive Coordinator Ed Donatell. Prior to joining the Vikings, Flores spent a season with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a Senior Defensive Assistant and Linebackers Coach.

Flores quickly proved his worth in Minnesota as a longtime New England Patriots assistant before becoming the head coach of the Miami Dolphins from 2019-21. Under Donatell in 2022, the Vikings gave up an average of 388.7 yards per game. In 2023, the Vikings averaged 333.2 yards per game.

There was definitely some ups and downs last season on the defensive side of the ball, but one thing is for sure, the defense was definitely better under Flores. Although Flores is one of the best defensive coordinators in the league, he does come with some baggage. At least, from an NFL dynamic perspective.

Minnesota Vikings DC Brian Flores’ previous lawsuit against NFL

Minnesota Vikings, Kevin O'Connell, Brian Flores, Dallas Turner
Credit: Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings

Last July, a federal judge ruled that Flores can proceed to trial against the NFL and three teams (Denver Broncos, New York Giants, and the Houston Texans) after he felt he was discriminated against due to race.

Flores also has a lawsuit out against the Miami Dolphins but the judge ruled last March that he must pursue those claims through arbitration. Despite the lawsuits, Flores deserves another chance at being a head coach again. And without a doubt, he sent a message to the rest of the league that he absolutely still plans on being an NFL head coach again when he decided to take part in the NFL’s Coach Accelerator Program.

Brian Flores to take part in NFL’s coach accelerator program

According to Brooke Pryor (ESPN), Flores will be among 27 participants in the NFL’s fifth accelerator program, an event hosted by the league to strengthen the pipeline of diverse candidates for front office and coaching positions, at the league meetings in Nashville, Tennessee, next week.

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The Coach Accelerator program began in 2022 and is meant to strengthen the pipeline of diverse candidates for front office and coaching positions. The event aims to introduce and familiarize candidates from diverse backgrounds with the league’s decision makers.

NFL’s Coach Accelerator Program does not a guarantee Brian Flores becomes a head coach again

None of the participants from the 2023 coaching accelerator program landed any head-coaching or general manager jobs. However, as part of the 2022 NFL Coach Accelerator Program, Ran Carthon was hired last year as the Tennessee Titans’ general manager.

Although this coaching accelerator program improves the chances of landing a head-coaching position in the NFL, it isn’t a guarantee. The additional lawsuits Flores has with the NFL and several teams also makes it more difficult for him to become a head coach again, but this is certainly Brian controlling what he can control and taking whatever steps he can to get back into the head coaching hot seat again, at some point.

Related: Is Dallas Turner a Week 1 Starter for Vikings?

In the NFL, anything can happen. But one thing is for certain, Brian Flores will be back in Minnesota as the defensive coordinator for the 2024-25 NFL season and will become the longest tenured defensive coordinator under the Kevin O’Connell era. But I can’t imagine Kwesi & Co plan on holding him back forever.

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