BOSTON (CBS) — Patriots de facto defensive coordinator Brian Flores is the last man standing in the Miami Dolphins’ head coaching search.

And while no deal has yet been reached, Ian Rapoport and Albert Breer both reported late Friday afternoon that the Dolphins will be choosing Flores as their next coach.

“I am told that is in fact their target, and that is who they want to be their next head coach,” Rapoport said on NFL Network, though no deal can be made official until Flores’ duties with the Patriots are complete this postseason. “This is a dominating presence, someone who is widely respected around the NFL both for what he does defensively and how he works with players, how he appeals to all kinds of players.”

The momentum had been trending this way for Flores over the course of the past week, after he interviewed with the Dolphins last Friday. The team also interviewed Colts offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Cowboys secondary coach Kris Richard, Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen, and their own special teams coordinator, Darren Rizzi.

On Thursday, Mike Jones of USA Today said the Dolphins were “leaning toward” Flores.

That news came days after the Miami Herald said Flores was the “front-runner” for the job.

Flores, 37, has been a member of the Patriots organization since 2004, when he joined the team as a scouting assistant. He switched over to coaching in 2008 as a special teams assistant, climbing the ranks on Bill Belichick’s staff until he took over play-calling duties for the defense this past season, after former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia left New England to become Detroit’s head coach.

In 2010, Flores was an offensive assistant/special teams coach, and in 2011, he was a defensive assistant. From 2012-15, he was the team’s safetey coach, before taking on linebackers coach duties in 2016.

He was a hot candidate this year, drawing interest from Miami, Denver, Cleveland and Green Bay. Last year, he interviewed with the Cardinals for their head coaching vacancy.

Flores’ hiring will add to the intra-divisional movement in the AFC East, where Adam Gase has already been fired by Miami and hired by the Jets.


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