MIAMI — The Miami Dolphins are turning to their AFC East nemesis for help.

New England Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores is a finalist in the Dolphins’ coaching search, a person familiar with the decision said Friday, and they’re expected to offer him the job when his team’s postseason ends.

The person confirmed the decision on condition of anonymity because the Dolphins weren’t commenting publicly about the status of the search.

If they fail to reach a deal with Flores, they haven’t ruled out Dallas Cowboys secondary coach Kris Richard.

Flores has been a Patriots assistant for 11 seasons and took over defensive play-calling a year ago after the departure of defensive coordinator Matt Patricia. In Miami he would replace Adam Gase, who was fired after three seasons and hired Wednesday as coach of the New York Jets.

The Dolphins have been also-rans to the first-place Patriots in the AFC East 15 of the past 16 years.

The Dolphins’ owner, Stephen Ross, and General Manager Chris Grier zeroed in on Flores after interviewing two Dolphins assistants: special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi and offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains. Both were considered long shots.

Ross and Grier earlier interviewed New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen and Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.

JOHN MICHELS, a College Football Hall of Famer whose 27 seasons as a Minnesota Vikings assistant coach included all four of their Super Bowl appearances, died in Kingsport, Tennessee. He was 87.

PACKERS: Mike Pettine is staying as the defensive coordinator.

BRONCOS: A person with knowledge of the breakdown in talks said Gary Kubiak won’t return to run the offense for new head coach Vic Fangio as had been expected.

CARIDNALS: Former Denver head coach Vance Joseph was hired as the defensive coordinator on new coach Kliff Kingsbury’s staff.

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