Ranking of the 7 best Viking coach candidates to replace the fired Mike Zimmer

The Vikings made major organizational changes on “Black Monday” in 2022. After eight seasons, the team broke up at the helm with coach Mike Zimmer and also fired Rick Spielman, who spent 10 years as the team’s general manager.

While Spielman’s expulsion allegedly “blinded“GM, Zimmer’s, was taken for granted. The Vikings only made it to the playoffs once in the last four seasons, although Minnesota owners Zygi and Mark Wilf invested heavily in the team. decided it was time for a “new leadership” after again missing the postseason.

“We appreciate Rick and Mike’s commitment to the team’s success on the pitch, their passion for making a positive impact on our community and their commitment to players, coaches and staff,” Wilf said in a statement. “Although these decisions are not easy, we believe it is time for the new leadership to elevate our team so that we can fight consistently for the championships. We wish Rick and Mike and their families all the best.”

“Our comprehensive search for a new general manager and head coach will begin immediately and will be conducted internally. We are committed to lasting success and bringing the Vikings fans the Super Bowl championships they expect and deserve.”

Now the Vikings will be looking for a new coach for the tenth time in the franchise’s history. Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated reports that the Vikings are “expected to throw a wide net in search of coaching,” so they could take their time and chat with many candidates. Here’s a look at the seven that would be nice in Minnesota.

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Doug Pederson, former head coach, Eagles

The Vikings went to the NFC Championship Game in 2018, where the Eagles were crushed 38-7. The Eagles were coached by Pederson, who led backup midfielder Nick Foles to victory in the Super Bowl over the Patriots. It is logical that the Vikings would be interested in adding Pederson to the group.

Pederson is a relatively safe candidate for coaching. He has a balance of 42-37-1 and in his five as a coach he has recorded three winning seasons and at least four has seven wins. As a coach, he made it to the playoffs in three of five seasons; The Vikings have only been there once every four seasons since appearing in the NFC Championship Game, although they have improved their quarterback position, so the idea of ​​adding Pederson should appeal to them.

Pederson’s swan song with the Eagles 2020 (4-11-1) wasn’t pretty, but the regression of Carson Wentz played a major role. With Kirk Cousins ​​in the fold, the Vikings have no major questions about the quarterback, so this could be a good situation for Pederson.

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Brian Flores, former head coach, Dolphins

The most shocking step of “Black Monday” was the Dolphins’ decision to fire Brian Flores. Flores set a record 24-25 over three seasons in Miami, but brought them to successive winning seasons in 2020 and 2021. The 40-year-old’s team beat the first two seasons before a slow start in 2021. Still, the Dolphins gathered and finished with a balance of 9-8 after winning eight of the last nine matches.

Flores is a great, defensive-minded coach who has turned the Dolphins defense into an opportunistic unit that has finished 1st and 8th in the last two seasons. The Vikings could trust Flores to train their once strong defenses, and because their attack is better than the Dolphins’ attack, they shouldn’t have the same problems that Miami has had on this side of the ball in the last few years.

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Eric Bieniemy, Offensive Coordinator, Chiefs

The Vikings will not only look at retreading during this cycle, and Bieniemy is probably the best of the first options in head coaching.

Bieniemy, 52, led the Chiefs into the top five attacks in each of his first four seasons as an offensive coordinator. He helped the team reach two Super Bowls, one of which he won, and helped Patrick Mahomes grow into a star. Andy Reid deserves great credit for what the Chiefs have accomplished, but Bieniemy is his right hand since Matt Nagy’s departure.

Minnesota could count on Bieniemy to turn its attack from medium to strong. If he can use Reid’s creativity to get the ball of Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen and Dalvin Cook, the Vikings’ attack could be strong. Bieniemy also played for nine years as an NFL runner, so his presence would certainly benefit Cook, Alexander Mattison and Ken Nwangwu.

(James D. Smith / Dallas Cowboys)

Kellen Moore, Offensive Coordinator, Cowboys

Here’s a younger option for Vikings to consider. Moore, 32, has been the Cowboys offensive coordinator for the past three seasons. The team really wanted to keep him after he fired Jason Garrett and he stuck to the Mike McCarthy era with excellent results.

The Cowboys have the No. 1 NFL attack in 2021 in terms of scores and total yards. When Moore and Dak Prescott worked together, they were almost unstoppable. The Vikings could try to recreate this spell with Cousins ​​and Moore, a former NFL and Boise State quarterback.

Moore would be the youngest NFL head coach if hired. It could be worth it for the Vikings, because they are looking for a change of culture after Zimmer.

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Jim Caldwell, former head coach, Lions

Caldwell is another safe and proven coaching option for Vikings. He has seven years of experience as a head coach in the NFL and has had five winning seasons. He has won less than seven times only once, during a season in which Curtis Painter had to start as a quarterback when Peyton Manning sat after neck surgery.

Caldwell’s overall coaching record is 62-50, but it’s 60-36 when we subtract his one season with 14 losses. He has a Super Bowl title and the quarterbacks he has worked with – Manning, Joe Flacco and Matthew Stafford – have done well under his supervision. Working with him would benefit the cousins.

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Kevin O’Connell, Offensive Coordinator, Rams

Here’s another young way to help the Vikings attack. O’Connell is only 36, but he is considered a rising star and has spent the last two seasons working under Sean McVay. He has three years of experience as an offensive coordinator and spent five years as an NFL quarterback after being selected in the third round of the Patriots in 2008.

O’Connell served as quarterback coach Kirk Cousins ​​for one year in 2017 when they were both in Washington. Results? Cousins ​​threw 4093 yards, 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, finishing 64.3 percent of his passes. Cousins ​​has been better in recent years, but maybe the two could reunite with O’Connell and bring some of McVay’s innovations to improve the Vikings’ attack.

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Scott Turner, Offensive Coordinator, Washington Football Team

This is an extraordinary possibility, but if the Vikings are really going to throw a “wide net” in search of a replacement for Zimmer, Turner could consider it.

Turner, 39, has connections to Minnesota. From 2014 to 2016, he trained in Mike Zimmer’s team and under the leadership of his father, Norva Turner, and has since become an offensive coordinator in Carolina and Washington.

The younger Turner’s attacks were not fruitful, but since he never worked with a consistent quarterback, he did a solid job. Vikings may like his combination of youth, skills, and familiarity with the organization. At the very least, they can give him an interview to find out if he is the main coaching material.


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