Over the past weekend the Pittsburgh Steelers made waves when they announced the hiring of Brian Flores as Senior Defensive Assistant/Linebackers coach. Once the dust settled on the news many fans were wondering how a highly credentialed coach like Flores would settle for the job with the Steelers? On top of that, how exactly did this go down?
Appearing on HBO’s REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL, Flores, and his lawyers, spoke about the state of his lawsuit against the National Football League, his current relationship with Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots, his thoughts on being let go from the Miami Dolphins and how he ended up both receiving and taking the job offer from the Steelers.
Here is a transcript of how Flores ended up taking the job as the Steelers’ Senior Defensive Assistant:
BRYANT GUMBEL: How long was this [the job offer with Pittsburgh] in the works?
BRIAN FLORES: It all happened very fast. I talked to Coach Tomlin Thursday. Little bit more conversation on Friday. Accepted the job on Friday evening.
BRYANT GUMBEL: So it all came together after you had been shut out of the head coaching vacancies that were available after last season?
BRIAN FLORES: Yeah. All afterwards. I actually was, you know, callin’ Coach T. really to get some counsel. I was thinkin’ about, the next steps for me just from a coaching standpoint. And then that conversation turned into an opportunity there in Pittsburgh.
BRYANT GUMBEL: Do you think Coach Tomlin threw you a lifeline?
BRIAN FLORES: I’m a very capable coach in this league. But I do feel like he saw a situation where there was a very experienced coach who could help his staff, who was also a Black coach in the league. And I think that kind speaks to what we’re talkin’ about.
What was truly interesting about Flores’ response was how he viewed Tomlin has the type of mentor who he could call to seek counsel. From that small interaction was how Flores ended up being a part of the Steelers coaching staff.
For me, I always thought Tomlin would pick up the phone to extend the opportunity to Flores, but in reality it was the other way around.
As for Flores’ relationship with the Patriots and Belichick, that seems to be a bridge which was burnt throughout the process of Flores filing his lawsuit.
BRYANT GUMBEL: Some members of the Boston media were beating the drum for you to go back to the Patriots. Was that ever in play?
BRIAN FLORES: No. I didn’t talk to anyone from New England.
BRYANT GUMBEL: Since that now infamous text exchange with Bill Belichick, have you spoken with him?
BRIAN FLORES: I have not. I have not.
BRYANT GUMBEL: Have you tried to?
BRIAN FLORES: No. I haven’t
BRYANT GUMBEL: Do you expect to?
BRIAN FLORES: I mean there’s potential that we could — we could run into each other. I mean I’d be open to a conversation. But, no, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.
It has become public knowledge Flores plans on continuing his suit against the NFL for racial discrimination, all despite the Steelers adding him to their coaching staff. The hope is not just the Steelers avoiding a distraction, but also the organization getting a very capable coach who could make an already good defense great.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steeler as they prepare for the new league year and the 2022 NFL Draft.