The Minnesota Vikings have found their new defensive coordinator. According to multiple reports, the Vikings have hired Brian Flores to be their next defensive coordinator.
Things are likely to change quite a bit in 2023 from what the Vikings did on defense in 2022. Former defensive coordinator Ed Donatell ran a very bend, don't break style of defense that relied on getting pressure with just four pass rushers. Flores is the exact opposite, as he likes to attack by utilizing a lot of zero blitzes and getting exotic with his pressures.
Here are eight things to know about the Vikings new defensive coordinator.
Flores joined the Patriots in 2004
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Flores' journey in the National Football League started at just 23 years old when the Patriots hired him as a scouting assistant. He served in the scouting department for four seasons under head coach Bill Belichick, including winning a Super Bowl in his first season.
Joined the coaching staff in 2008
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Flores joined Bill Belichick's coaching staff in 2008 as a special teams assistant. He served under his staff for 11 seasons. The highest title he received was linebackers coach but was the de facto defensive coordinator for the Patriots' Super Bowl-winning team in 2018.
Flores has been a play caller for four seasons
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Despite having never been a defensive coordinator, Flores has been a defensive play caller for four seasons. Here is how his teams fared via scoring defense.
2018 Patriots: 20.31 PPG (7th)
2019 Dolphins: 30.88 PPG (32nd)
2020 Dolphins: 21.12 PPG (6th)
2021 Dolphins: 21.94 PPG (16th)
His 2019 season is a major outlier here, but it is worth noting that ownership was actively trying to tank and Flores dragged them to five wins.
Flores and O'Connell were together for one season
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One of the themes of O'Connell's tenure has been bringing in people that he has been with at some point in his tenure. They spent one season together in 2008 when the Patriots made O'Connell the 94th overall pick and Flores became a special teams assistant.
Flores is suing the National Football League
Stephen Ross Over The Years 33
After being fired by the Miami Dolphins after just three seasons where he finished 24-25 when ownership was actively trying to tank, Flores sued the NFL naming multiple defendants due to what he claims are racist hiring practices. Ross was found guilty of tampering with both Tom Brady and Sean Payton which resulted in a lengthy suspension and $1.5 million fine and stripped the Dolphins of a first-round pick in 2023 and a third-round pick in 2024.
Flores runs a very aggressive scheme
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He comes from the Belichick tree where they run mostly coverages with a single-high safety. A lot of cover-1, cover-3, cover-7 man match and cover-0 blitzes. This is going to be a super-aggressive defense that relies on playing successful man-to-man coverage on the outside and they both get and manufacture pressure in a multitude of ways.
Expect the personnel to change
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The defensive scheme that Flores runs is very reliant on the cornerbacks playing man coverage. He runs a lot of exotic blitzes that will put the cornerbacks on islands and require them to cover on the outside without help. That will likely require providing Flores with some new personnel both at cornerback and linebacker.
Tools to learn the defense
There are a lot of film clinics on YouTube that break down what this defense is and likes to do. Here are a few of them to get a jump start on what to expect this season.
Story originally appeared on Vikings Wire