3. Brian Flores, defensive coordinator, Vikings
For 15 seasons, Brian Flores worked for the New England Patriots under legendary head coach Bill Belichick. He started as a scouting assistant in 2004 — at just 23 years of age — and worked his way up to linebacker coach — while holding several other positions along the way. By the end of his tenure, he was also calling defensive plays.
That helped him land his first head coaching gig with the Miami Dolphins, where he spent three seasons. Ironically, he turned them into winners as they went 5-11 in 2019 but then had a 10-win campaign in 2020 and a 9-8 season in 2021. Still, he was let go and a huge issue was the inability to land a solid offensive coordinator.
Since then, he made headlines for filing a suit against the NFL and the Dolphins — while claiming he was being forced to tank in Miami. He claimed he wouldn't go along with this and that was part of the reason he was let go.
Flores spent the 2022 season with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a linebacker coach and senior defensive assistant and is now the defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings. He's proven he can do it as a head coach and if Cleveland lands him a solid play-caller on offense, it could wind up being a win.