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Browns interview Patriots LB coach Brian Flores for head coaching job | Browns

Browns general manager John Dorsey promised the coaching search he is leading will be a thorough one, and he is keeping true to his word.

The Browns on Jan. 5 interviewed Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores for their head coaching vacancy. Flores calls New England’s plays on defense, making him their unofficial defensive coordinator.

The interview process began on Jan. 1 when the search committee, led by Dorsey, interviewed Gregg Williams, who was 5-3 as interim head coach with the Browns in the second half of the season. Jim Caldwell, former head coach of the Colts and Lions, followed Williams on Jan. 2.

Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski was interviewed Jan. 3 and Saints assistant head coach/tight ends coach Dan Campbell was interviewed Jan. 4.

Matt Eberflus, the defensive coordinator of the Indianapolis Colts, is scheduled for an interview Jan. 6, according to Dan Graziano of ESPN. Browns offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens and former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy are scheduled for interviews early the week of Jan. 7, according to reports.

Coaches from Bill Belichick’s staff in New England always get called on for interviews when head coaching vacancies pop up. The Browns have hired two of them and neither was successful. Romeo Crennel, even with a 10-6 record in 2007, was 24-40 from 2005-08. Eric Mangini was 10-22 in 2009-10. Both were successful defensive coordinators under Belichick.

Just because Crennel and Mangini failed doesn’t mean Flores will. Flores, 37, steadily worked his way up the coaching ladder.

“I think leadership is about being honest,” Flores told ESPN in December. “It’s about being transparent. I think it’s about putting yourself in the shoes of others. I also think it’s about being tough on people, having high expectations, having a high standard and not letting off that standard.

“I think you can do that specifically with players — you can be tough on them, expect a lot from them, but not be somebody they despise.”

Flores has been with the Patriots since 2004. He started as a scouting assistant in 2004 and was given pro scouting assignments in 2006. He moved into coaching in 2008 as a special teams assistant and then was an assistant on offense and special teams in 2010 and a defensive assistant in 2011.

Flores coached the New England safeties from 2012-15 before moving onto linebackers coach in 2016. He retained that title and started calling plays in 2018 after Matt Patricia answered the call to become head coach of the Detroit Lions. Patricia, incidentally, took over a 9-7 Lions team and made it a 6-10 team.

“Once you have success, then you’re allowed to trust (Flores) and play more freely and go out there and make plays, because you know your coach is going to put you in the right position,” Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers told

Flores interviewed with the Dolphins and Packers on Jan. 4 and is scheduled to interview with the Broncos on Jan. 7.

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