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Brian Flores wants Vikings’ defense to develop an identity as aggressive but not reckless

Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell talks about bringing Brian Flores on as defensive coordinator, observations of Kirk Cousins in their second year together and more.

In his first few months as the Vikings’ defensive coordinator, Brian Flores has been at work explaining to his players what kind of identity he wants his defense to have.

“I think building an identity is a big part of playing defense,” Flores said, via the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “I try to impart that to our players. That happens over time. Every time we step on the practice field, it’s ‘What is our identity? What are people going to say about us? What do we want it to look like?’”

So what does Flores want that defense to look like?

“I think they understand my nature as far as wanting to be aggressive but not reckless,” Flores said.

Flores indicated that he has liked what he has seen from players during Organized Team Activities, but he also indicated that as long as practices are non-contact, the Vikings’ defensive identity can’t be established.

“It’s hard to do that in this setting because so much of the game is physical,” Flores said. “We’re kind of forecasting based on what we’ve seen. That’s part of it too. We have to forecast. The final decisions of what we’re going to be are going to be made down the road.”

Although Flores has had a number of defensive assistant jobs and spent three years as head coach of the Dolphins, this is the first time he has been a defensive coordinator. He’ll be establishing his own identity as a coordinator just as the defense establishes its identity.