The Pittsburgh Steelers were the only team to step up and give Brian Flores a job this offseason. The former Miami Dolphins head coach was initially a top candidate upon being fired, but launching a lawsuit against the NFL certainly put him and teams in a tough spot.
The Steelers, however, did not care and hired Flores anyway as part of the defensive staff. This decision was likely a no-brainer as Mike Tomlin added an elite coach as an assistant.
General manager Kevin Colbert was asked by the media if this hiring was done to make a statement. He had a fantastic response.
"We hired a very good quality defensive coach who can help us win games," Colbert said.
The question was geared toward whether the Steelers were trying to prove to the rest of the NFL that they were more noble, or unafraid to take on a challenge. While potentially true, Colbert was not wrong in saying he made the easy decision to add a top available coach.
Steelers are the one team not concerned about Brian Flores' lawsuit
Flores landing in Pittsburgh is fitting, given the fact that the team is owned by the Rooney family. Fans will recognize the name through the "Rooney Rule," which has been brought to the forefront of NFL news by Flores' lawsuit. The rule intends for teams to interview minority candidates for open positions in order to give those from underrepresetned groups a fair shot.
Unfortunately, Flores is making the claim that a lot of those interviews are simply done to satisfy the rule. That is not the true purpose of the rule at all.
Teams all over the NFL are now being looked into for potentially abusing the rule. Yet Piitsburgh are the one team not concerned because their ownership is the one that made the rule in the first place. It would truly be shocking if the franchise was ever accused of not properly following the Rooney Rule.
Thus, hiring Flores was likely not done to make a statement, as Colbert explained. He just grabbed a great assistant who missed out on landing a head coaching job. Pittsburgh only got stronger as an organization for making a move that seemed obvious.