Brian Flores to interview with Cardinals in person on Monday, per report

Jan 22, 2023, 7:01 PM | Updated: Jan 23, 2023, 8:01 am
Pittsburgh Steelers senior defensive assistant Brian Flores works with the defense as they go throu...

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

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, a current assistant with the Pittsburgh Steelers, is expected to interview with the Arizona Cardinals on Monday, according to Albert Breer.

CBS’ Jonathan Jones was the first to report the in-person interview, while NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport was first to report that he received a request to interview for the team’s opening at head coach.

Arizona needed to receive permission from the Steelers, where Flores, 41, is currently a senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach under head coach Mike Tomlin.

Flores was fired by the Dolphins in January 2022 after leading them to a 24-25 record over three years from 2019-21. They went 9-8 in their second straight winning season for 2021 but failed to make the playoffs during his tenure.

Prior to his appointment in Miami, Flores was a long-time staffer under Bill Belichick with the New England Patriots. He served numerous positions, coaching special teams, safeties and linebackers from 2008-18.

Flores’ tenure in New England also included stints as a scouting assistant (2004-05) and pro scout (2006-07).

He joins a list of reported candidates to replaced the fired Kliff Kinsgbury that includes San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton and current Arizona defensive coordinator Vance Joseph.

After being fired by the Dolphins before this season, Flores filed a lawsuit in February 2022, seeking class-action status and unspecified damages from the league, the Dolphins, the Houston Texans, the Denver Broncos and the New York Giants, along with unidentified individuals.

The lawsuit alleges racist hiring practices for coaches and general managers, saying the league remains “rife with racism” even as it publicly condemns it.

Former Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks was named as an example in the lawsuit and joined it last April along with fellow NFL assistant Ray Horton, whose complaint was regarding the Tennessee Titans.

Wilks released a statement to ESPN through his lawyers after the amended complaint was added to Flores’ case, which is filed in the Southern District of New York.

“When Coach Flores filed this action, I knew I owed it to myself, and to all Black NFL coaches and aspiring coaches, to stand with him,” Wilks said. “This lawsuit has shed further important light on a problem that we all know exists, but that too few are willing to confront.

“Black coaches and candidates should have exactly the same ability to become employed, and remain employed, as white coaches and candidates. That is not currently the case, and I look forward to working with Coach Flores and Coach Horton to ensure that the aspiration of racial equality in the NFL becomes a reality.”

Wilks’ claims juxtaposed his firing after a 3-13 season with the career track of former Arizona general manager Steve Keim, who is white.

Keim received a contract extension in February 2018 after he helped hire Wilks but was convicted for a July 2018 DUI arrest. Wilks cited Keim’s suspension during the 2018 preseason as a factor that put Wilks in a bad position, according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.

“The decisions we made after the 2018 season were very difficult ones,” the Cardinals said in a statement, responding to the Wilks addition to the Flores lawsuit. “But as we said at the time, they were entirely driven by what was in the best interests of our organization and necessary for team improvement. We are confident that the facts reflect that and demonstrate that these allegations are untrue.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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