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Brian Flores says he called Mike Tomlin for advice and it turned into a coaching job

Updated: Feb 23, 2022

(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

In an interview on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” which will air at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Brian Flores said “it all happened very fast" in regards to being hired by the Steelers.

Flores said he called Mike Tomlin for advice to get back in the coaching ranks, and he ended up accepting a position as the Steelers' senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach just a few days later. It's a role that he's grossly overqualified for, but it's the best thing for him in the time being so he can become a head coach in the NFL again.

“I actually, you know, was callin’ coach — Coach T, really to get some counsel. I was thinking about the next steps for me just from a coaching standpoint," Flores said via Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

According to Josina Anderson, Tomlin hiring Flores was expected. It's what many coaches behind the scenes were privately calling for. Tomlin is one of just three African-American head coaches in the NFL.

“I’m a very capable coach in this league," Flores said when asked by Gumbel whether Tomlin threw him a lifeline. "But I do feel like he saw a situation where there was a very experienced coach who could help his staff, who was also a Black coach in the league."

Flores also told Gumbel that he's never discussed a potential return to New England this offseason and that he has not spoken with Bill Belichick since his lawsuit was filed. Even with being hired by the Steelers, Flores has no intention of discontinuing his class-action lawsuit against the NFL and three teams over alleged racial discrimination in hiring practices.

Belichick accidentally texted Flores that he was getting the Giants job, but the text was meant for Brian Daboll. And Flores didn't even interview with the Giants yet at the time, so he's alleging that it was a sham interview.

According to Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk, Flores is willing to aid in the NFL’s investigation into whether Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered Flores $100,000 for every loss in 2019 so the Dolphins could get a higher draft pick.

Flores’ attorney, Doug Wigdor, was also on HBO and said Flores and his legal team “definitely have corroborating evidence” to prove Flores’ claims about Ross. And Wigdor said that evidence will be shared with the NFL, separate and apart from Flores’ lawsuit.

“We definitely would share it with them,” Wigdor said, according to a transcript provided by HBO.

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