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Report: Brian Flores is the Patriots New Defensive Coordinator but Without the Title

Source – [T]he New England Patriots are once again preparing to go into a season without a defensive coordinator, according to two league sources who spoke to Yahoo Sports. …

The Patriots will turn over primary defensive play-calling duties to linebackers coach Brian Flores, a source said. …

Despite the move not being a titled promotion, the added responsibility continues a significant rise by the 37-year-old Flores, who has coached New England’s linebackers since 2016. Flores started his career as a Patriots scouting assistant in 2004 after playing linebacker at Boston College. He worked in New England’s personnel department until transitioning to the coaching staff in 2008. Despite operating behind the Patriots curtain for the past 14 seasons, Flores’ star has risen as players and staffers have left the Patriots and shared his name with new staffs. So much so, he received his first head coaching interview in January with the Arizona Cardinals.

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This move is far from a surprise. As a matter of fact, this is what I said about six weeks ago when Matt Patricia-to-Detroit became semi-official:

By all accounts the new coordinator will be Brian Flores who, like Patricia before him, has been the linebackers coach. You might remember him from such highlights as “Malcolm, GO!” and … well, “Malcolm, GO!”

It should be noted that this year the Patriots D gave up the 4th most yards in football but the 5th fewest points, thanks most of all to their red zone defense:

Matt Patricia

And would anyone care to guess which of Patricia’s assistants was in charge of the red zone defense? The “goal line coordinator” if you will? No surprise, it was Flores. Whether he’ll get the coordinator title right away remains to be seen. Not everyone gets it their first year, even if they have the responsibility. Patricia himself didn’t. Hell, in 2010 they didn’t list an official coordinator on either side of the ball. But we’ll have every reason to be shocked if it’s anyone other than Flores holding that big Olive Garden menu over his mouth next year.

And herein lies the beauty of this perpetual motion machine of success that Bill Belichick has constructed in Foxboro. It’s built in such a way that it develops the next guy to come along when the inevitable happens and one of his coordinators gets his own team. And that guy is someone who’s been in the system, worked in many different capacities, knows how everything functions but is encouraged to put his own mark on it. That’s why I didn’t put any stock into the rumors that Greg Schiano was going to get the job. Because while he’s a Belichick Apostle and used a very similar defense at Rutgers, that’s not how things work around here. In almost 20 years captaining this particular Starship Enterprise, Belichick has only once brought in an outsider. That was Dom Capers in 2008 and he was just a special assistant/secondary coach. Everyone else has come up through the ranks as Flores has.

So like I said, he’ll probably be the DC without title for a year or so. Then get the title in 2019. Which should put him on track to be the next head coach of the Jets by 2021. Here’s hoping he enjoys the good times while they last.

@jerrythornton1