Super Bowl: Patriots coach expected to lead Dolphins
ATLANTA — Brian Flores sounds like a head coach.
After Sunday, he will most likely be one.
It’s no secret that Flores, the unofficial New England Patriots defensive coordinator, is the choice of the Miami Dolphins to be their next head coach. NFL rules obviously prohibit that from being official.
When did Flores first realize he wanted to be a coach?
“I’d say it was after the Super Bowl in the 2007-08 season, the 18-0 season,” he said. “We lost the game, and I just wanted to have more of an impact on the game. So, I asked to get into coaching.”
Flores was a Patriots pro scout at the time. He then became a special teams assistant.
“I really knew I wanted to continue coaching when we got Matt Slater,” he said. “He was a young gunner, and I was a young coach. He was a great kid, a great person, somebody who was motivated to make himself better. I just saw that and thought maybe I could have an impact on him a little bit.
“That worked out well for him and that was when I felt I could make an impact.”
Flores has an interesting relationship, it seems, with personable but sometimes mercurial linebacker Kyle Van Noy.
“Kyle and I have a great relationship,” he said. “It’s tumultuous at times. We butt heads sometimes. But he knows I’m always looking out for his best interest. It’s all good. … He’s been great since. There’s a lot of respect for the way he plays. … He knows I’m going to push him to be as great a player as he can be.”
Flores got on Van Noy in practice a few weeks ago “pretty good.” So he wasn’t happy, I wasn’t happy, I got home and talked to my wife about it. So Sunday, he scoops and scores. First thing my wife says to me is, “Are you still mad at Kyle?”
What did he tell her? “Absolutely not,” Flores said. “And I told Kyle the story, and he erupts in laughter.”
Would Brian Flores the head coach be able to have a story like that? The dynamic may change.
“Can’t say,” Flores said. “I haven’t been there, wouldn’t know. But I’d like to think it wouldn’t. I’d like to think you can still connect. There’s no way to know. I see head coaches have great relationships with players, and I think that’s a beautiful thing.”