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Kyle Shanahan could target Patriots LB coach Brian Flores for 49ers DC role

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The Patriots potential DC heir could be on his way out sooner rather than later.

We have been wondering who the defensive coaches on Kyle Shanahan’s staff would be, and we are starting to get some potential names. Ian Rapoport reported Sunday morning that former Jacksonville Jaguars linebackers coach Robert Saleh is on Shanahan’s radar for defensive coordinator. Sunday afternoon, FOX Sports NFL reporter Jay Glazer reported that Shanahan is also interested in New England Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores.

Flores joined the Patriots as a scouting assistant in 2004 after playing for safety and linebacker for four years at Boston College. After four seasons in the scouting department, he moved into coaching with the team. He has nine years under his belt, first on special teams, and then primarily on defense. He coached linebackers in 2016 after coaching safeties from 2012 to 2015.

Our friends at Pats Pulpit spoke with Flores this past week at the Super Bowl. Pats Pulpit editor Rich Hill said that Flores’ move into the linebackers coach role was viewed as a potential precursor to taking over as defensive coordinator. DC Matt Patricia is likely to get a head coach position sooner rather than later, and Flores would likely replace him.

Flores remains focused on the task at hand, but sees himself as fortunate to have the broad mix of experience he has had thus far.

“I think I’ve been fortunate to be in a lot of different roles here, scout, offense, defense, special teams,” Flores said. “But I’m a one day at a time kind of person. I don’t really think about what’s in the future...I just try to get better every day and just try and prepare the guys as best I can every day. That’s really my goal. I don’t really think about anything else.

“I hope that I’m preparing a lot, I hope that I’m prepared. There’s always something I could get better at, but that’s kind of the approach I take every day.”

Here is a look at Flores’ resume, all with the Patriots:

2004-05: Scouting assistant
2006-07: Pro scout
2008-09: Special teams assistant
2010: Assistant offense & special teams
2011: Defensive assistant
2012-15: Safeties
2016: Linebackers