Brian Flores confirms he turned down head coach offer to be Vikings DC

Assistant coach Brian Flores of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Assistant coach Brian Flores of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

Brian Flores said that he turned down a head coaching gig this offseason in favor of becoming the defensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings.

The Minnesota Vikings defense struggled throughout the 2022 season, and in their Wild Card Round loss to the New York Giants. Shortly afterward, head coach Kevin O’Connell parted ways with defensive coordinator Ed Donatell. The Vikings did get a huge name to replace him in former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores.

It was a huge win, as Flores did get some head coaching consideration this offseason, most notably from the Arizona Cardinals. Ultimately, Flores called the Cardinals to inform them that he was withdrawing his name from consideration to take the Vikings defensive coordinator position.

During his introductory press conference on Wednesday, Flores touched on his decision to turn down the Cardinals head coaching job, citing a “gut feeling.”

Brian Flores confirms turning down Cardinals HC job to join Vikings staff

“There was still an opportunity with Arizona. Like I said this was — you get a gut feeling,” said Flores, h/t The Athletic. “I think we’ve all kind of had those that, this was the place for me and my family. This was the right opportunity.”

After getting hired last week, he was originally scheduled to have his second interview for the Cardinals head coaching vacancy that Wednesday. But, he gave the Cardinals the call and let them know that he was stepping aside. That left the Cardinals with reported finalists in Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo and Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka.

On Tuesday, the Cardinals announced that they were hiring Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon as their next head coach. This comes after the Eagles 38-35 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 57.

The Vikings will look to improve with Flores leading the way. Last season, they surrendered an average of 388.7 yards of total offense (second-highest in NFL) and 25.1 points (tied third-most), per ESPN. Despite that, Minnesota won 13 games and the NFC North title.

Flores expressed his belief that becoming the Vikings’ defensive coordinator was the “right opportunity.”

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