Jan 9, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores watches from the sideline during the second quarter of the game against the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Vikings hiring Brian Flores as DC

The Minnesota Vikings will hire former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores as their new defensive coordinator, ESPN and the NFL Network reported Monday.

Flores, 41, spent the 2022 season as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach after Miami fired him following a three-year stint as the team’s head coach.

Flores, who is Black, has a class-action lawsuit against the NFL and three teams, claiming racial discrimination in hiring practices. He alleges that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered him a $100,000 bonus for each game Flores lost during the 2019 season in an attempt to secure the No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft.

Flores also named the New York Giants and Denver Broncos in the suit, saying the teams used him to “check their boxes” of interviewing minority candidates for the Rooney Rule before hiring white head coaches. He alleged that former Broncos general manager John Elway and colleagues arrived an hour late for an interview with him and appeared disheveled from a night of drinking, which Elway roundly denied.

Flores interviewed for the Arizona Cardinals’ head-coaching vacancy during the recent hiring cycle and also reportedly interviewed for defensive coordinator jobs in Cleveland and Denver.

The Vikings fired Ed Donatell after their early exit from the playoffs. Minnesota won the NFC North at 13-4 and earned the No. 3 postseason seed but lost 31-24 to the Giants in the wild-card round.

The Vikings ranked 31st in total defense (388.7 yards per game) and tied for 28th in scoring defense (25.1 ppg) in the 2022 regular season.

This will be Flores’ first time serving as a coordinator. He was a position coach on defense as well as a special-teams coach during a long run on the New England Patriots’ staff (2008-18).

–Field Level Media

Nov 17, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Falcons name Ryan Nielsen new DC

The Atlanta Falcons named former New Orleans assistant Ryan Nielsen their new defensive coordinator on Friday.

Nielsen, 43, replaces the retired Dean Pees.

Nielsen spent the past six seasons with the Saints as defensive line coach before adding the title of co-defensive coordinator in 2022. The Saints registered 281 sacks during Nielsen’s tenure, second most in the NFL in that span.

Nielsen will also get to assemble parts of a new staff. The Falcons on Friday parted ways with defensive line coach Gary Emanuel, outside linebackers coach Ted Monachino and secondary coach Jon Hoke.

Falcons linebackers coach Frank Bush is the defensive coordinator in the East-West Shrine Bowl.

Pees, 73, retired — again — earlier this month. He came out of retirement to coach under Arthur Smith in 2021.

–Field Level Media

Lawmakers Pushing For Legal Sports Betting In Washington D.C., Possibly With Mobile Betting Before Retail

The post Lawmakers Pushing For Legal Sports Betting In Washington D.C., Possibly With Mobile Betting Before Retail appeared first on SportsHandle.

Legal sports betting may be coming to the District of Columbia (District), a development made clear at a public hearing on Wednesday by Councilmember Jack Evans (Ward 2), Chairman of the D.C. Council’s Finance & Revenue Committee.

The hearing occurred roughly one month after Evans and five colleagues submitted the sports betting bill — B22-0944, the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018.

“It’s my view that over the course of the next several years, sports betting will be legal across the country,” Evans said in opening remarks, adding that he wants the District to move soon toward passage to avoid falling behind Maryland and other neighbors, as it did with tradition casino gambling. Right now, Evans said, Maryland properties such as the MGM National Harbor are attracting large amounts of patrons from D.C. and tax dollars that could benefit the District.

DC Council Leaders Pushing For Bill Sports Betting, So Bets Can Be Taken Early in 2019; Some Details Still Need Ironing

By way of background, the law as-is calls for:

  • The regulating body to be the D.C.’s Office of Lottery and Gaming, which currently oversees the city’s lottery;
  • Sports betting would be taxed at 10 percent of gross revenue;
  • The city would charge a $50,000 licensing fee;
  • Athletes, coaches and game officials would be prohibited from placing sports bets; and
  • Tax revenue would be split equally between early childhood education programs and the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. If those programs are fully funded, any surplus dollars would go into the city’s general fund.
  • All types of wagering would be permitted: single-game wagers, parlays, teasers, in-game wagering, pools, exchange wagering, propositions and so forth.

Key issues that arose during this hearing:

  • Who should be allowed to get licensed to operate a sportsbook? Both DraftKings and FanDuel officials had the opportunity to address this, and emphasized that more competition, from the likes of both established companies, would mean more revenue for the district, more competition, meaning better products and consumer protections as the better operators would rise to the top;
  • There was frequent reference to New Jersey’s emerging market: Mobile sports betting revenue has already exceeded brick-and-mortar sportsbook wagers;
  • The DFS-turned-sportsbook operators are concerned that running sports betting solely through the D.C. Lottery, which would outsource operations to a company like IGT or Scientific Games, would not foster competition, and thus encourage a stagnant market that ultimately might depress revenues. Also, fewer options for consumers. They pointed to Delaware as an example, which has a contract with Scientific Games, which has contracted William Hill for risk-management.
  • The D.C. Lottery representative, Beth Bresnahan, offered a counterargument here, saying that the Lottery is well-equipped to handle sports wagering.
  • The Lottery is also looking to launch first with mobile/online offerings, then transition to retail offerings — a clear contrast with every other state to legalize sports wagering so far.  D.C. is also in a unique position to do this: there are no commercial or tribal casinos in D.C., nor any pari-mutuel options.
  • One witness noted that in West Virginia, the state Lottery is tasked with regulatory oversight of sports wagering licensees: all five state casinos are licensed (or in the process) and to our knowledge, the lottery itself is not yet offering sports betting-style games.
  • Bresnahan noted that there’s about 1 million people in the District that could join the legal market.  She said that in terms of putting together a responsible gaming monitoring and capturing dollars for to DC, the Lottery is in best position to do that.

As usual, the National Basketball Association objected to the absence of certain provisions in this law, and enumerated the provisions desired by the NBA as well as fellow pro leagues Major League Baseball and the PGA Tour.

Read the full post – Lawmakers Pushing For Legal Sports Betting In Washington D.C., Possibly With Mobile Betting Before Retail at SportsHandle.