Updated: Feb 23, 2022
(Photo by Adam Gianzman/Getty Images)
Even with a class-action lawsuit against the NFL and three teams over alleged racial discrimination in hiring practices, the Steelers hired Brian Flores as their senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach on Saturday. The move was applauded across the league, as Flores shouldn't be blackballed by the league over a legal matter.
Besides the lawsuit, however, the main story should be that Flores is a really good football coach and should be a head coach in the NFL. The fact that he's on Mike Tomlin's staff now as a senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach is quite remarkable. He's grossly overqualified for the position.
The Steelers weren't trying to make any kind of bold statement by hiring Flores. They just were doing what is right. And with Flores' expertise, he can help improve the Steelers' ailing defense immensely.
“I think it says that we hired a very good, quality defensive coach that can maybe help us win games. Beyond that there is nothing much more to say,” Colbert told reporters on Monday when asked if the Steelers made a statement by hiring Flores.
Colbert said he's excited to work with Flores, as he's not only a great defensive coach, but he started his career as a scout, as well.
“When (Tomlin) brought Coach Flores’ name up as a potential (candidate) I was excited about it because Coach Flores is a successful defensive coordinator and head coach," Colbert said. “The thing that’s really intriguing about Brian is he also started off in the personnel world. So I’m excited to get with him and see what kind of ideas he can bring us, both from a coaching viewpoint as well as a personnel viewpoint.”
Flores is a Bill Belichick prodigy, as he spent 11 seasons in New England in various roles prior to becoming the Dolphins head coach in 2019. Flores, 40, is a Brooklyn native and played at Boston College as a linebacker from 1999 through 2002. Flores got his start with the Patriots when he was 23 as a scouting assistant in 2004. Flores worked his way up the ranks and was the Patriots linebackers coach from 2016-2018.
It will be interesting to see if Flores can help save Devin Bush's career. Besides looking over the linebackers, expect Flores to have his input all over the Steelers' defense in 2022.
According to Brooke Pryor of ESPN, Colbert said they haven’t decided if the Steelers are going to pick up Bush’s fifth-year option. But, he mentioned the ACL recovery impacting him in 2021. “I think Devin Bush will be a better player in 2022.”