Brian Flores to call Pats' defensive plays without DC title

Brian Flores, linebackers coach for the New England Patriots, will lead the team's defense during the 2018 season without the defensive coordinator title, ESPN has confirmed.

Yahoo! Sports reported Tuesday that Flores will handle the primary playcalling without the help of a coordinator. Two sources told ESPN on Wednesday that Flores will assume those duties.

The Patriots were left without a defensive coordinator when Matt Patricia left the team last month after Super Bowl LII to take a job as head coach of the Detroit Lions.

This is not the first time the Patriots have gone without coordinators. Patricia led the team's defense without the coordinator title in 2010-11 after Dean Pees left the team in 2010. Patricia got the coordinator title in 2012.

Bill O'Brien ran the team's offense without the title in 2009-10 after Josh McDaniels left to be head coach of the Denver Broncos. O'Brien got the title in 2011. McDaniels eventually rejoined the Patriots and currently serves as the team's offensive coordinator.

ESPN's Mike Reiss contributed to this report.