Brian Flores' Defense: Overview and Additional Resources

Photo credit: Bill Ingram-Palm Beach Post via USA TODAY Sports

This article serves as a hub for my series on Brian Flores’ defense, as well as providing additional resources to learn about the Belichick/Saban/Flores style of defense:

Part 1: Versatility is Key

This article covers the fronts and player roles that Flores uses in his defense. While Flores is a base 3-4 guy, his defense changes based on the opposition. Topics include:

  • Base front and defensive positions
  • Sub package usage
  • Defensive line techniques
  • Roles on the defense that require versatility
  • How current Vikings players fit into the defense
Part 2: Aggression

This article covers the blitz schemes and tactics that Brian Flores uses to get pressure on opposing QBs. Flores blitzed at a top 2 rate across the 2020-2021 seasons. Topics include:

  • Stunts and how they fit into the Flores defense
  • Odd Front looks and forcing 5-0 protections
  • Double A gap mug blitzes
  • Cover 0 blitz looks
Part 3: Physicality Man Coverage

This article covers man coverages, the bread and butter of the Flores defense. Topics include:

  • Cover 1 rules and variations like Rat and Robber
    • Inside/outside leverage and divider rules
  • Cover 1 Double, a special Belichick coverage
  • Cover 0 and techniques to help make the coverage less risky
    • Press/Off Man techniques
  • Cover 2 Man, a popular response to high-flying passing offenses like the Chiefs and Bills
    • “Lock and Level” vs. “Box” technique for passing off bunches
Part 4: Zone Coverage

This article covers zone coverages, the change ups that Brian Flores uses to keep offenses off guard. Topics include

  • Cover 3 and the difference between “Country” or “Spot Drop” coverages and match coverage
  • Nick Saban’s Cover 7 rules, also called Quarters
    • Passing strength and how it is detemined
  • Tampa 2
Additional Resources

I pulled from a number of different sources in order to put this article together. Due to the success of the coaches, there is a ton of information available to the reader who wants to learn even more about this defense. Please see the following sources:

Coach Vass

Coach Cody Alexander

Cameron Soran


Dolphins-Ravens 2021

Coaching Clinics

Matt Bowen

Football Outsiders

Pro Football Focus

Clayton Cason

The Vikings Are Playing the Field In Their Quarterback Search
By Tom Schreier - Apr 12, 2024
How Do the Vikings Address DT and Corner With Limited Draft Capital?
By Kaleb Medhanie - Apr 11, 2024

Blake Cashman Brings An Element the Vikings Were Lacking

Photo credit: Bill Ingram-Palm Beach Post via USA TODAY Sports

Blake Cashman was clearly a priority target for the Minnesota Vikings in free agency. They came to terms just over three hours after the legal tampering period […]

Continue Reading