New England Patriots de-facto defensive coordinator Brian Flores is the latest person to be recognized by the Hockomock YMCA’s Integration Initiative as a Legend. He was honored at the organization’s annual Legends Ball for supporting the cause over the years and helping it make an impact on peoples’ lives. One of those is Flores’ younger brother Christopher, who was diagnosed with autism when the Patriots’ coach was a teenager.
”That’s what I love about this Integration Initiative is you see families come together and that becomes their team,“ Flores, a former Boston College linebacker who has spent his entire coaching career as a member of the Patriots organization, said during the fundraising event last week. “That’s what I’ve seen from Christopher and all of his buddies at the YMCA.“
”As a coach, I put my fears on [Rob Ninkovich], I put my fears on Devin [McCourty]. I put my fears on [Matthew] Slater,“ Flores continued. “With the initiative, you see families put it on each other. They kind of help each other get through that fear, that doubt, that worry. You realize that you’re not alone, and there’s people out here who support you. There’s a whole room of people who support you. That’s a beautiful thing.”
The three former and current Patriots players mentioned by Flores introduced him and spoke glowingly about the 37-year old. “He’s a great football coach, but he’s a better man,” Ninkovich said about Flores before giving the stage to the present day Patriots. “He’s more than just a coach to me, the closest relationship to a coach I’ve ever had,” said McCourty. Slater echoed those remarks: “Any man that’s played for you, and anyone who knows you certainly feels like they’re a better person having been around you.”
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