The Patriots' next coaching star? His odds were incredibly long
/ Patriots

By Ian O'ConnorESPN Senior Writer

Editor's note: This story was originally posted on Jan. 31. It has been updated to reflect Brian Flores' new role as the defensive playcaller for the Patriots in 2018.

MINNEAPOLIS -- Brian Flores will be the next coaching star of the New England Patriots, and to understand why is to understand where he is from. He grew up in the housing projects of Brownsville, Brooklyn, maybe the toughest neighborhood in New York, so there was nothing about Bill Belichick or the Patriot Way that could ever shake him.

Life had roughed Flores up early, prepared him for full-contact drills inside the NFL's most demanding environment.

"I never backed down from anybody," Flores said. "If people see you're scared, or as somebody who backs down, you're going to deal with it every day. That was my thing. I didn't back down from anybody or any situation. Football, school, anything."

Long before the 36-year-old Flores became a Patriots scouting assistant in 2004, or the coach who will call the defensive plays for Belichick in 2018, he was the son of Honduran immigrants who lived with his four brothers 20 stories above a community that could be perilous to navigate. His younger twin brothers, Luis and Danny, each had knives pulled on them in separate mugging incidents on their way to the local video game store. Luis, now a fourth-grade teacher in the South Bronx, said he saw chalk outlines of bodies outside their building more than once, and that almost every night the Flores family heard the not-too-distant sound of...

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