Patriots personnel vouched for Brian Flores in Vikings interview

The Minnesota Vikings introduced former New England Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores as their new defensive coordinator last week, and more information is trickling out regarding the hiring process.

Apparently, Flores got a boost from some old friends during the interview process.

Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell shared that Jerod Mayo and Matthew Slater spoke highly of Flores. In fact, their words helped solidify Flores for the position, as O’Connell decided to hire him in part because of the good reviews.

Flores rose through the New England coaching ranks, first seeing a role as a special teams assistant in 2008. He then was the assistant offensive and special teams coach in 2010, before moving to the defensive side of the football in 2011. He served as the linebackers coach from 2016-2018, marking his final duties in New England.

O’Connell appreciated the reviews from Mayo and Slater. The reviews themselves left a lasting impression, as noted by ESPN’s Mike Reiss.

“The way they speak about the impact he had on them … that mattered to me, what people I really respect had to say,” said O’Connell.

Flores will be taking over a defense in Minnesota that struggled mightily last season. They allowed an average of 388.7 yards per game, which was the second-worst mark in the NFL. Flores could be the answer, as Minnesota looks to resurrect a beleaguered unit.

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Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire