The Cleveland Browns requested permission to interview New England Patriots linebackers coach Brain Flores for their head coaching vacancy, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
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Flores was the Patriots’ de facto defensive coordinator in 2018 following the departure of Matt Patricia. However, he never received the title of defensive coordinator, as the Patriots listed him as the team’s linebackers coach.
The 37-year-old has been with the Patriots organization since 2004, starting as a scouting assistant. He would move up to being a pro scout in 2006 before becoming a special teams assistant in 2008. Flores would hold the titles of offensive assistant, defensive assistant, and safeties coach before spending the last three seasons as the linebackers coach.
In his only season as the de facto defensive coordinator, the Patriots ranked 21st in total defense, allowing 359.1 total yards per game. However, the defense only allowed 20.3 points per game, the seventh fewest in the league. The Patriots ranked in the bottom half of the league against the pass, but allowed the 11th fewest rushing yards per game, giving up 112.7 rushing yards per game.
The Patriots have historically run a hybrid defense, having concepts of a 3-4 defense and a 4-3 defense. They will feature four down linemen, but will also have linebackers standing up on the edge of the line of scrimmage.