Brian Flores ‘passionate’ about getting chance to coach football again as Steelers assistant

Six months to the day after he filed a lawsuit in opposition to the NFL and its 32 groups alleging racial discrimination in its hiring observe, the pending litigation was the very last thing on Brian Flores’ thoughts Monday morning at Saint Vincent.

The 41-year-old former head coach who was employed to work with the Pittsburgh Steelers linebackers was wanting ahead to gamers placing on pads and tackling for the primary time in camp. He was having fun with being sequestered at an off-site campus location for the primary time in his 19-year NFL teaching profession. He talked about bonding with the opposite assistants on Mike Tomlin’s workers and sharing philosophies and training methods geared toward enhancing his new staff’s protection.

Flores hasn’t talked about his lawsuit since becoming a member of the Steelers on Feb. 19, his hiring coming lower than three weeks after he rocked the NFL with a class-action swimsuit that particularly referred to as into query the hiring practices of the Miami Dolphins — his former employer — the New York Giants and Denver Broncos.

Flores, although, stated he’s firmly the place he desires to be this summer time.

“It’s superior for me to coach football,” he stated. “That’s what I’m passionate about. That’s what I like to do, all features of it. It’s sitting in conferences with our defensive coaches, sitting in our workers conferences, going backwards and forwards with offensive coaches, getting on the sphere and going via particular person strategies with gamers, getting to these settings the place you are not working together with your group… placing the staff factor collectively.

“That is what I’m passionate about. It’s enjoyable to be out right here. I’m grateful and lucky.”

Flores was fired in Miami after compiling a 24-25 document in three years. Although he has a sub-.500 general document, Flores was let go after main the Dolphins to back-to-back profitable seasons. They went 10-6 amid the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, and he circled a staff that began 1-7 final 12 months by profitable eight of the ultimate 9 video games to end 9-8.

When Flores turned accessible, Tomlin labored shortly to add him to his workers. He will fill the senior defensive assistant position that turned open when Teryl Austin was promoted to defensive coordinator.

“He’s an excellent communicator,” Tomlin stated. “He does the issues that you simply worth from a coach’s perspective by way of difficult guys, holding them accountable and main his group. He’s a hand-in-the-pile man, so it has been an excellent addition.”

Flores stated he is having fun with being afforded the chance to mix in with a defensive workers that features Austin, veteran line of defense coach Karl Dunbar and linebackers coach Jerry Olsavsky.

“There isn’t an absence of concepts. I do know I’ve realized loads in a small period of time right here. That is among the issues that’s thrilling to me. I get to decide the brains of some actually sturdy offensive and defensive coaches.”

Flores has already made an affect on inside linebacker Myles Jack, who joined the Steelers in free company after spending his first six seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“I just about write down every little thing he says even when it would not essentially pertain to what we’re studying,” Jack stated. “He has a perspective on issues coming from being a head coach, and it has actually made me have a look at football in a very totally different gentle.

“He’s displaying us what the offense is attempting. Being a head coach, he is going to present you a 360 view of what they’re attempting to do and the way we will beat what they’re attempting to do. It’s virtually like enjoying Battlefield.”

Flores is appreciative of the chance to work in seclusion at Saint Vincent, the place the Steelers will stay for the following three weeks. During his 15 seasons on Bill Belichick’s workers in New England and his three years in Miami, Flores by no means received to expertise coaching camp off-site.

“There is loads to it, plenty of camaraderie,” Flores stated. “It’s constructed once you’re sitting in a setting like this and at evening guys are spending plenty of time collectively enjoying playing cards or enjoying Uno or Connect Four. There is plenty of staff constructing and bonding that goes on.”

And Flores will get to be part of regardless that his lawsuit nonetheless stays unresolved. He stated he by no means imagined not teaching this season however is glad Tomlin and the Steelers acted shortly to give him a second chance.

“I like to assume I can coach some football,” Flores stated, smiling. “I’m not shocked in any respect.”

Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review workers author. You can contact Joe by e mail at jrutter@triblive.com or by way of Twitter .

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