Minnesota Vikings Hire Brian Flores As Defensive Coordinator


The Minnesota Vikings have hired Brian Flores as their new defensive coordinator, ending a month-long search to replace the fired Ed Donatell.



Flores spent last season as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ senior defensive assistant/linebackers coach after being fired as head coach by the Miami Dolphins following the 2021 season. He’ll take over a defense that finished No. 31 in the NFL in yards allowed.

This defense could be on the cusp of a significant personnel overhaul. He has a years-long relationship with Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell, who was drafted by the New England Patriots as a quarterback in 2008 when Flores was a special teams assistant there.

After firing Donatell on Jan. 19, the Vikings quickly interviewed four candidates for the job. Ryan Nielsen, Sean Desai, Mike Pettine and Flores were all interviewed. Nielsen took the Atlanta Falcons’ defensive coordinator job. Desai removed his name from consideration. Sources told ESPN all along that then-Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero was their top candidate.

Evero and O’Connell spent two years on the Los Angeles Rams’ coaching staff in 2020 and 2021, and O’Connell hoped to reunite in 2023. Last Sunday, one day after the Broncos released Evero from his contract, he agreed to terms with the Carolina Panthers to be their defensive coordinator without taking an interview with the Vikings.


Flores will have some work to do to improve this Vikings defense, which was one of the worst in the NFL. They do have talent, however, in pass rushers Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith. The are aging in the secondary with Harrison Smith and Patrick Peterson. Maybe that is Flores’s first course of action as DC in improving the secondary.

The Minnesota Vikings as a whole will most likely be favorites to win the NFC North according to Minnesota sports-books. Getting an experienced coordinator like Brian Flores will help their chances immensely.

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