BOSTON (CBS) — Josh McDaniels is staying in New England. But Brian Flores may be leaving Bill Belichick’s staff for a division rival — and a warmer climate.

The Patriots linebackers coach is reportedly high on the Miami Dolphins’ list of candidates to fill their head coaching vacancy, according to the Miami Herald. Flores met with Miami owner Stephen Ross and executive Chris Grier last week, one of four candidates to interview for the job since the Dolphins let go of Adam Gase at the end of the regular season.

Flores impressed the Miami brass in his interview, and according to the Herald, is “near, if not at the top” of their list of potential replacements. They are expected to chat with special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi about the job this week before bringing any candidates back for a second interview, per the Herald.

The Dolphins also interviewed Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Dallas Cowboys defensive backs coach Kris Richard and New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen for their head coaching vacancy.

If the Dolphins decide to go with Flores, they cannot officially hire him until the Patriots are eliminated from the playoffs (or win the Super Bowl). New England will host the Los Angeles Chargers in the AFC divisional round Sunday afternoon.

Flores, 37, has held a number of positions with the Patriots since joining the organization in 2004. He has worked as a scouting assistant, served as an assistant coach on both offense and special teams, a defensive assistant, and coached both safeties and linebackers. While he was not given the official title of defensive coordinator following Matt Patricia’s departure for Detroit last offseason, Flores served as the team’s defensive play-caller in 2018.

Under Flores, the New England defense allowed 20.3 points per game during the regular season, ranking seventh in the NFL.

On Tuesday, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels announced that he was done interviewing for head coaching positions and would be in New England “going forward.”

Tune in to Sunday’s Patriots-Chargers divisional round clash on WBZ-TV — the flagship station of the New England Patriots! Coverage begins Friday night with Patriots All Access at 7 p.m., and kicks off on Sunday with a special hour-long edition of Patriots GameDay at 11 a.m.! We’ll break it all down and hear from Bill Belichick and Tom Brady LIVE on Patriots 5th Quarter on WBZ-TV after the game!

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