Viking coach search: three candidates to replace Mike Zimmer in Minnesota

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The Minnesota Vikings made the decision to fire longtime head coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman on Monday. Zimmer had a 72-56-1 coaching record, but has only gone 15-18 in the past two seasons while missing the playoffs both years. Overall, he went 2-3 in the playoffs with an appearance in the NFC Championship game.

The Vikings are facing a bit of rebuilding as they are strapped for cash and have a defense in need of a huge boost. There’s also the issue of Kirk Cousins, as he enters the final year of his contract and owes $ 35 million in base salary, by Spotrac. Are the Vikings ready to part ways with Cousins, or are they determined to find a GM / head coach who wants to build around him for 2022? Also, are the Vikings interested in a defensive or offensive-minded head coach?

Below, we’ll break down three candidates the Vikings should consider interviewing and hiring for their head coaching position.

Doug pederson

The most recent profession: Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach

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It looks like the former Eagles head coach is set to take another round of the coaching carousel, as Pederson has already been interviewed by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Pederson helped the Eagles reach the top of the NFL world in 2017, as he led Philly to a Super Bowl LII victory with quarterback Nick Foles. There is even a statue of him and Foles speaking before composing the “Philly Special”. In five full seasons with the Eagles, Pederson went 42-37-1 with a 4-2 playoff record.

Pederson was the first Super Bowl-winning head coach to be sacked within three years of winning it all since 1973. His final 4-11-1 season was defined by Carson Wentz’s struggles as well as a seemingly difficult relationship. with the front office. Pederson made the playoffs in three of five seasons at Philly and is expected to have a head coach position. He’s an offensive-minded coach who has made the most of his quarterbacks and his overall offense.

Brian Flores

The most recent profession: Head Coach, Miami Dolphins

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The Dolphins made the surprising decision to fire Flores on Monday morning, and all reports indicate he’s going to be a hot name this offseason. This usually indicates that the franchise made the wrong choice in parting ways with him. With Flores being one of the most attractive names available, coupled with being a defensive-minded head coach, the Vikings should be interested in acquiring his services.

Flores has gone 24-25 in his three seasons with the Dolphins and has narrowly missed the playoffs in each of the past two seasons. While its defense finished the regular season in 15th place in yards allowed per game, this unit was hampered by a bad offense and really arrived at the end of the year. Miami finished the season 8-1 after starting 1-7.

Flores had to deal with speculation from Deshaun Watson all year round and her relationship with general manager Chris Grier and Tua Tagovailoa had deteriorated to “pretty bad”. according to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington. While it looks like a red flag when it comes to a training candidate, it may be a problem caused by Grier, not Flores.

A proven young defensive leader who probably shouldn’t be in the open market? Schedule an interview for tomorrow.

Kevin O’Connell

The most recent profession: offensive coordinator, Los Angeles Rams

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When teams go through a head coach change, the fanbase usually wants a proven candidate who can undoubtedly improve the franchise, not a stupendous lottery ticket. Pederson and Flores are the safest options, but if you want to shoot a promising youngster, Kevin O’Connell is your man.

O’Connell isn’t listed here just because he’s a Sean McVay clone who works under him in LA, it goes deeper than that. He’s one of those former Washington aides who are ready to explode, as McVay and Kyle Shanahan did. Put simply, O’Connell is an attacking-minded coach who has been highly regarded by his superiors wherever he has gone. He served as the assisting coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Washington soccer team in 2017 and 2018, and then head coach Jay Gruden promoted him to offensive coordinator so he didn’t lose it to another. NFL team.

Once Gruden was fired, O’Connell was even considered for the head coach job before the front office decided to go with Ron Rivera. From there, O’Connell joined McVay in LA. Last offseason, the Los Angeles Chargers sought to steal him to serve as Brandon Staley’s offensive coordinator, but McVay reportedly blocked the interview.

O’Connell also has a relationship with Cousins, as he coached his quarterbacks during Cousins’ last season with Washington in 2017. He’s a young offensive spirit who not only knows the veteran quarterback well, but can also get the most out of weapons. like Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson.

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