There will be, and are, lawyers.
The Texans promoted defensive coordinator Lovie Smith to head coach on Monday, removing one of the final potential landing spots for Brian Flores.
When the Saints followed suit later in the day by elevating their defensive coordinator Dennis Allen to the top job, Flores knew he would have to wait another year for a chance to be a head coach again.
That fact seems to have clearly peeved the former Dolphins coach, who is currently fighting a legal battle against the NFL, citing racial discrimination.
Flores’ attorneys, Doug Wigdor and John Elefterakis, released a statement on behalf of their client on Monday, regarding the Texans’ coaching hire:
After the Texans announced they hired Lovie Smith today, Brian Flores’ attorneys released this statement: pic.twitter.com/3njAv54YC5
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 8, 2022
The statement in full:
Mr. Flores is happy to hear that the Texans have hired a Black head coach, Lovie Smith, as Mr. Flores’ goal in bringing his case is to provide real opportunities for Black and minority candidates to be considered for coaching and executive positions within the NFL. However, we would be remiss not to mention that Mr. Flores was one of the three finalists for the Texans’ head coach position and, after a great interview and mutual interest, it is obvious that the only reason Mr. Flores was not selected was his decision to stand up against racial inequality across the NFL.
The timing of Smith’s interview and subsequent hiring are curious: An 11th-hour candidate, Smith was in a final trio along with Flores and former NFL quarterback Josh McCown to be the next Texans coach.
On Sunday, McCown’s candidacy came to an end, with reports indicating the Texans didn’t believe the time was right for the 42-year-old, who has never coached above the high school level, to be their next head coach.
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Smith, who made his return to the NFL in 2021 after coaching in college between 2016 and 2020, was the coordinator for one of the league’s worst defensive outfits, though a lot of that can be attributed to the unit’s talent level as opposed to the coaching.
With all nine head-coaching vacancies now filled, Flores and his attorneys can focus solely on their legal fight with the NFL.