The Steelers made some news over the weekend when they hired former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores as a senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach.
Flores sued the NFL and several teams for racial discrimination in their head coaching hiring practices earlier this month, which made it something of a surprise that he landed any job in the NFL. That lawsuit will continue despite landing the job in Pittsburgh and defensive end Cam Heyward said that the hiring showed “our organization looks at people who can help, no matter their skin color, where they come from.”
Heyward said he thinks the Rooney family is “about giving people a fair shake and a fair opportunity” and believes Flores can have a similar impact to the one that Mike Munchak had on the team’s offensive line from 2014 to 2018.
“It’s very similar to when we signed coach Munchak,” Heyward said, via Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “You heard of his leadership and what he had done as head coach, but you knew the type of coach he was through his players. Even when Flores was in New England, he got the most out of his defenses. When you start looking at the track record, when you bring in different coaches, you start to get pretty excited.”
The Steelers finished last in the league in run defense and 20th in points allowed, which makes a couple of areas where Flores can have a positive impact on the team’s fortunes in 2022.