Going Pro

Once his playing days at Boston College were over, it was time for Flores to decide on his future.

Hoffmann, O'Brien and Mangiero all said he would have been a success in any field he would have pursued, but Flores told Mangiero that football was what he wanted to do.

So Flores wrote a letter to all 32 NFL teams.

"I just told them I was a graduate of BC, gave them a little bit of my background, I had a master's," Flores recalled. "I remember this like it was yesterday, I felt like football was the only thing that leveled the playing field for me. I got an opportunity, I could do a few different things, and I wanted to stay with the game.

"I said I would work for free. They called me back. They didn't ask me to work for free, which I thought was great. I didn't make a lot, but at the same time, I had been poor my whole life, so what I made, I felt like I was rich. So it was a win-win situation, for them, for me. I really enjoyed that time. Again, everyone's big on money. To me it was about the process, it was about learning, it was about trying to improve. And it's still that way for me."

The Patriots gave Flores his first NFL job in 2004 with the title of scouting assistant, which entailed more than anything a whole lot of "go-fering." But Flores showed his customary work ethic, did what he was told, and constantly asked questions.

And he continued to make a good impression.

After two years, he became a pro scout for the Patriots. Flores then began envisioning a future where he would become a general manager.

That all changed after the Patriots' quest for a perfect 2007 season ended with a Super Bowl loss against the New York Giants.

"It really felt like I wanted to make more of an impact, I wanted to have more of an impact on the games, on wins and losses, so I asked if I could go down to coaching," Flores said. "I talked to Bill and there was a position open and I just kind of came into it. I started on special teams, I was on special teams for two years, I was on offense for a year, that's quality control, just breaking down tape on offense, defense, and I kind of fell in love with coaching, just to be around players and just really get to make an impact."

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