Jun 9, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers senior defensive assistant/linebackers coach Brian Flores (left) and offensive coordinator Matt Canada (right) participate in minicamp at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin didn’t need a lot of time to decide to hire Brian Flores.

Flores shocked the NFL world in February when the former Miami Dolphins head coach sued the NFL for racial discrimination in their hiring process after being fired at the end of the 2021 season. That situation likely played a part in his ability to be hired as a head coach this past offseason. Instead, he decided to join the Steelers as a defensive assistant and linebackers coach.

Tomlin has previously explained why he decided to reach out to Flores and attempt to hire him in spite of the lawsuit.

“I just didn’t want him to feel like he was on an island,” Tomlin told reporters in March. “From a coaching fraternity standpoint, I owed that him that. I was in a position to provide that.”

“It really ran its course rather quickly, to be quite honest with you. Because it doesn’t require a lot of time to come to the realization that you can use a Brian Flores on your staff.”

“‘Senior defensive assistant and linebacker coach’ is his title, but there’s help that he’s going to help us and help me, in particular.” His contributions are going to be significant.”

During a recent appearance on The Pivot Podcast, Tomlin explained just how fast the whole thing came together, recalling a conversation he had with Flores.

“Before this thing goes any further, man, if you wanna coach, and there are no head coaching opportunities for you, you don’t even need to make another phone call,” Tomlin said he told Flores. “I didn’t initiate this relationship for that. That wasn’t the spirit in which I reached out to you, but, if that’s where this is heading, what are we talking about?”

Tomlin says he asked Flores to give him 24 hours to “kick this around a little bit.” He then spoke with owner Art Rooney II about hiring Flores and Rooney told him “Great.”

“I told Flo give me 24 hours and I called him back 45 minutes later,” said Tomlin.

If the Steelers can improve their defense this season and move past the Wild Card round of the playoffs for the first time since 2017, Flores’s hiring could end up being a huge part of how they get there.

[Ryan Clark]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.