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Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores said Tuesday that he did not receive any chances to interview for a head coaching opening during this offseason's hiring cycle.

Flores, the former Dolphins head coach who had a 24-25 record in three seasons, quickly turned around the Vikings defense in his first season despite a roster overhaul that saw the exits of multiple key defenders including linebacker Eric Kendricks, cornerback Patrick Peterson, edge rusher Za'Darius Smith and defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson.

The Vikings defense succumbed to injuries by December and fell apart at the end of a 7-10 season, finishing 13th in points and 16th in yardage allowed.

Seven NFL teams hired new head coaches, many other candidates were interviewed, but none have an open lawsuit against the NFL like Flores, who is Black and Latino. He sued the league and three teams in 2022 alleging racially discriminatory hiring practices.

Flores was asked Tuesday whether he thought the lawsuit has affected his opportunities.

"There's no way to know," Flores said. "It's not really something I'm spending a lot of time thinking about."

"I will say I'm very happy where I am," he added. "It's been a great offseason. I haven't spent this much time with my family in an offseason in a while without a move — it's been a while."

Flores, 43, has previously said he wants to be a NFL head coach again if the right opportunity presents itself.

"I do the best I can where I'm at and wherever the chips fall, they fall," Flores said. "That's what I tell the players. If you prepare the right way and you do everything you can possibly do to have success, you're going to have peace with that. You don't always win. That's the crazy thing about football."

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Defensive tackle Harrison Phillips said he knew about Flores' Patriots background, and New England's strict reputation. But he was struck by how quickly Flores made personal connections with players that included a weekly "fellowship Thursday," in which defenders bond together away from the team's facilities.

"I'll be honest with you guys, I'm kind of blown away he wasn't poached somewhere to be a head football coach," Phillips said Tuesday. "That was one of my biggest fears this offseason was like, shoot, if Flo's going to be gone, what does that mean for my role? What does that look like for me? I had a career year in his system, and I hope to even surpass that."

In Flores' second season, the Vikings lineup has changed with edge rushers Jonathan Greenard, Andrew Van Ginkel and possibly a draft pick replacing Danielle Hunter, Marcus Davenport and D.J. Wonnum.

Van Ginkel, a former Dolphins draft pick under Flores, can play off-ball linebacker in addition to edge rusher. Flores said he has "potential to be a chess piece for us that we use possibly similar to like [Josh] Metellus."

Linebacker Blake Cashman will step in for Jordan Hicks, who also left in free agency. Cornerback Shaquill Griffin is penciled in a starting spot for a coaching staff that wants to play more man-to-man coverage. Flores said he doesn't want to be predictable and wants man coverage to be a better option after they were a predominantly zone coverage defense last season.

When players returned Monday to TCO Performance Center for the start of voluntary workouts, Flores said they were greeted with individualized development plans. He keeps many schematic ideas on the wall in his office at the team's Eagan headquarters, according to Metellus, who saw his name on the wall with more ideas curtailed to his strengths and weaknesses.

Metellus, a self-described Swiss Army knife, led the Vikings with 1,259 snaps last season on defense and special teams, playing safety, linebacker and slot corner, among other roles.

What else is in store?

"You gotta find out on Sunday," Metellus said. "I can't tell you that, it's only April."

Flores also doesn't tip his hand about scheme nor about his emotions. But there was little holding back about one offseason Vikings move: safety Harrison Smith returning for a 13th season.

"Joy," Flores said. "I love Harrison. … I know people talk about his leadership all the time, but for me he's somebody that we [can have] conversations about the game plan, matchups, things of that nature. Personally, he's somebody I was ecstatic that he was back. I know how much he helps our team in ways you really can't quantify."