It has been a wild ride for the Minnesota Vikings in terms of coaching changes so far this offseason. The hiring of Mike Zimmer as head coach was surprising and the guys he brought in to assist him fit his hard-nosed style of play.
Is the new coaching staff credible? And can they bring a championship to Minnesota in the near future? These are the two most important questions that loom on the minds of Vikings fans right now.
Here’s my analysis on Zimmer and his core coaching staff:
Mike Zimmer: Head coach
It wasn’t a big name like Jon Gruden, Brian Billick or Jack Del Rio to become the successor to Leslie Frazier as head coach; instead the Vikings chose Zimmer. Zimmer has all of the championship winning credentials on defense. He took a terrible Bengals defense and made them top-10 in the NFL.
Discipline is Zimmer’s game and the Vikings lacked plenty of it last season as they were one of the most penalized teams in the NFL. If Zimmer is going to be a good coach in Minnesota he has to take the bull by the horns with his young team and decrease the penalties.
I think Zimmer can get the team on track. Defense is the Vikings biggest concern and he’s the right guy to address all of the issues in that part of the game.
George Edwards: Defensive Coordinator
To me, Edwards is the biggest wildcard. He had success as linebackers coach for the Washington Redskins, guiding all three of his linebackers to over 100 tackles in the 2002 season. This tells me that Edwards is a motivator and could do wonders for the young Vikings’ defense. However, Edwards was fired by the Bills as defensive coordinator in 2012, so it raises some concern as to how effective Edwards is now as a coach in the NFL.
Norv Turner: Offensive coordinator
Turner is hands down a terrific hire for Minnesota as offensive coordinator. His success as a head coach with an offensive-minded San Diego Chargers team proves that the man can draw up effective plays. If the Vikings draft a young quarterback, Turner will find the best in him, like he did with Philip Rivers at San Diego.
Creativity is always at the top of Turner’s mind and I’m excited to see how he revamps the entire offense. Hopefully he can make Cordarrelle Patterson a perennial Pro Bowler and top NFL receiver.
Overall, there is a good upside to all of these new faces in the coaching staff. But the truth will come out soon as to whether or not this coaching staff is really the right fit for Minnesota. It all starts with creating a winning atmosphere.