Sunday, February 1, 2015
Tags Posts tagged with "alan williams"

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Following the Vikings’ 31-30 loss to the Bears Sunday, head coach Leslie Frazier was quick to take blame for not stepping in to adjust the defensive schemes on the final drive, which resulted in a game-winning touchdown pass for Chicago.

During Monday’s press conference, Frazier clarified on it.

“We’re talking about a sequence that was a very important sequence during the course of the game,” Frazier said. “You can’t take away all the good things our defensive did yesterday. There are just some things from my standpoint that I have to manage better. That’s all.”

The last defensive play is apparently not an isolated incident where a bad call or communication issue was the problem. Andrew Krammer of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities recalls multiples times where it “seemed to be multiple plays where communication broke down and defenders seemed to be playing different calls.”

Frazier was also not too pleased that Cordarrelle Patterson only had six snaps, saying that issue would be “rectified” next week. This comes a week after Frazier told reporters following Week 1 that Patterson getting limited reps was a “coaches decision”—not necessarily his decision—and that Patterson is fully caught up with the whole offensive playbook.

Nothing Frazier have said suggests offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave and defensive coordinator Alan Williams are in jeopardy of losing their jobs, but his latest presser suggests he is not happy with some of the decisions made by his staff.

Keep in mind that Frazier is fighting to keep his job, as he is only under contract through the 2014 season. Head coaches very rarely play out the final year of their contract so he is looking for a contract extension by season’s end.

1. Schwartz Sports Hernia

Joe Oberle of CBS Sports reported yesterday that Geoff Schwartz suffered an abdominal injury Friday at practice. Schwartz was sent back to the Twin Cities to have some tests done. The tests came back showing Schwartz has a sports hernia surgery. He is set to undergo surgery and will likely be out of the action 4-6 weeks. Geoff Schwartz, in my opinion, was one of the better signings of the offseason and the right guard position was shaping up to be a well fought for spot on the roster. Now, it is likely Schwartz competition for the spot, Brandon Fusco, will get the nod to start.

2. Vikings Sign New Guard

Apparently, the Vikings offensive line is in worst shape than I thought. According to this article at Star Tribune, the Vikings are dealing with several injuries up front – Pat Brown (knee), Kevin Murphy (heat-related illness), DeMarcus Love (shoulder) and Geoff Schwartz (see above).

As a result of these injuries, the Vikings have signed some help for the line – Grant Cook, a rookie from Arkansas. The Vikings let undrafted rookie defensive end Eric Latimore to make room for Cook on the roster. Cook originally signed with the Packers as an undrafted rookie but was released by Green Bay late last month.

Cook should feel a little more at home with two fellow rookie Razorback alums on the Vikings roster – wide receivers Jarius Wright and Greg Childs.

3. Josh Robinson Returns

The fastest man in this year’s draft class, Josh Robinson, returned to practice after pulling his hamstring while trying to cover rookie wide receiver Jarius Wright the first day of training camp. Robinson wasn’t heavily involved in practice and instead just ran some individual drills. But still, the fact that he’s back on the field is a good sign.

4. Alan William’s Plans For The Defense And Jared Allen’s Disapproval

New Vikings defensive coordinator Alan Williams said in a press conference that he plans to use a “hockey-style philosophy with his defensive line.” In other words, he wants to frequently swap players on the defensive line out to always have a fresh front four. As you can probably imagine, Jared Allen (you know, the guy that played 99.9% of snaps last season) wasn’t ecstatic about the news. Allen told reporters that he had heard nothing about this new defensive scheme and that if it was actually implemented, he would fight it to remain on the field as much as possible. What did Leslie Frazier have to say?

“Believe me, we’ve talked about this a number of times. So contrary to what Mr. Allen had to say, we’ve talked about this subject. We’re going to try to keep our guys fresh. We want him fresh. He knows. We talked about it even this morning. We always go into it every season talking about we’re going to try to cut his reps down. And then lo-and-behold, it doesn’t always work that way … We’re going to play him but we are going to try to get him off the field when we can and make sure he’s fresh in those key moments. It does a disservice to him and our team if we play him every snap. And then when we need him in key situations, he’s fatigued. That’s just not smart. We’re going to try to manage that. We did a pretty good job of it at times a season ago. We need to do more of it and we’re going to make a concerted effort to try to get him off the field at times. Without hurting the team. We don’t want to hurt the team. He’s our best pass rusher, one of the best in the NFL.”

5. Greg Childs Impresses and His Injury

Let’s start off with the good news first: Rookie wide receiver Greg Childs has looked pretty good so far during training camp. He’s made a number of really good grabs and looked like he could potentially see some playing time in four or five-wide sets this season. Childs even had a really great highlight grab the other day in practice (check out the video below).

And now, for the bad news. Unfortunately, that may be the last highlight we see from Childs for a while as last night he tore the patellar tendon in both knees during a scrimmage. Yes, you read that correctly – both knees. The Vikings released the following statement: “Greg Childs suffered a torn patellar tendon on his right and left knees last night. He is expected to have them surgically repaired within the next few days.”

It is likely Childs will miss the entire season.

6. Kyle Rudolph. Best Tight End In The NFC North?

Kyle Rudolph continues to gather steam as training camp continues. It is obvious him and Christian Ponder have developed a great chemistry. That coupled with the fact that he has all the physical skills to be special and because he’s on an offense that plans on heavily relying on tight ends could mean a break out year for the sophomore tight end. His performance in training camp already has Kevin Seifert from ESPN.com asking if Kyle Rudolph could be “as good as any player at his position in the NFC North.”

 7.  Guys Off To Great Starts

Mike Wobschall (also known as Wobby) has done a great job covering training camp this year. In this post on the Vikings.com blog, Wobby lists 10 Vikings players who are off to a great start. Who made the list? Some of the more surprising names are CB Bobby Felder, DT Letroy Guion, TE Rhett Ellison and RB Derrick Coleman. Kyle Rudolph, Matt Kalil, Antoine Winfield, Percy Harvin, Jerome Simpson, Chad Greenway and Rick Spielman (?) also make the list.  Head over to Vikings.com to check it out and see Wobby’s reasoning.

8. Doleman In Canton

Chris Doleman was inducted into the Hall of Fame last night. The Vikings Age has a good summary of Doleman’s career that you might like to check out. You can also head over to NFL.com if you’d like to see video of Doleman’s induction speech.

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A few weeks into the offseason, the Vikings are done making personnel changes after hiring Alan Williams as defensive coordinator and Brendan Daly as the defensive line coach. Before I jump into more details about the two new Vikings coaches (although, one of them was previously a Vikings coach in 2006-08), below is a quick recap of the few changes that were made to personnel.

  1. Karl Dunbar is fired as defensive line coach.
  2. Vikings interview anyone and everyone for the defensive coordinator position (while Fred Pagac officially holds the position)
  3. Fred Pagac is officially demoted to linebackers coach
  4. Alan Williams and Brendan Daly rumors surface. Mike Singletary remains Vikings Assistant Head Coach.
  5. Alan Williams and Brendan Daly officially announced as defensive coordinator and defensive line coach, respectively.

The Alan Williams and the Brendan Daly signings should be no surprise as the Vikings, for the longest time, are apparently only capable of hiring friends.

Alan Williams was previously the Colts defensive backs coach for 10 years. For two of those years, Leslie Frazier worked with Williams (including the Colts team that won the Super Bowl in 2006-07).

Williams will have his work cut out for him as the Vikings tote one of the NFL’s worst pass defenses. Hopefully, with the addition of a long-time defensive backs coach, the Vikings depleted secondary will receive some attention this offseason and can come back as a stronger unit in 2012. The hiring of Williams ensures that the Vikings will remain a 4-3, Tampa-2 style defense as that is what Williams ran with the Colts.

Brendan Daly, who was an assistant defensive line coach for the Vikings from 2006-08, was hired back to replace Dunbar as the defensive line coach. He comes from being the defensive line coach with St. Louis Rams from 2009-11. It should be noted that Daly was with the Vikings as an assistant defensive line coach during a stretch of time where they were the NFL’s best run defense.

For my own personal opinion on the additions to the Vikings personnel, continue reading by clicking the button below.

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A long drawn out process that featured a handful of candidates (and no, I’m not talking about the GOP race to the White House) has finally come to an end, with the Vikings hiring former Colts defensive backs coach Alan Williams as their new Defensive Coordinator.

After 10 years in Indianapolis, Williams is widely expected to officially join the Vikings shortly, in time to go to Mobile, Alabama and coach the North squad at the Senior Bowl.

Last year’s Defensive Coordinator, Fred Pagac, will return to be Minnesota’s linebackers coach.  He occupied this position for four years prior to 2011.

Mike Singletary, also interviewed as a candidate for the Coordinator position, will remain with the Vikings as an Assistant Head Coach.

Brendan Daly will replace Karl Dunbar as the defensive line coach.  Daly has held that position in St. Louis for the last three seasons, and previous to that was an assistant defensive line coach for the Vikings.

The Vikings defense is unlikely to experience much in the way of a scheme change, as Leslie Frazier has managed to maintain a staff that supports his preference of running a Cover-2 defense.

Yet another name has surfaced in the Vikings somewhat bizarre effort to fill the role of Defensive Coordinator.

Here is what we know so far:  Fred Pagac is out, but may return as the linebackers coach.  Raheem Morris and Mel Tucker were interviewed, but accepted other jobs.  Steve Spagnuolo may have the Vikings interested, but he is likely to return to Philadelphia after being dismissed by the Rams.  Finally, Mike Singletary is thought to be a candidate and things could get interesting since Pagac was offered his job with the linebackers.

Phew!

Okay, onto the new news.

According to Jason LaConfora’s Twitter account, the Vikings are expected to interview Colts defensive backs coach Alan Williams on Tuesday morning.  After all, an organization that promotes a guy to General Manager after a 3-13 season would logically be interested in a guy that coached for an organization that just went 2-14.

Williams has worked with Leslie Frazier in the past, having been with the Colts for 10 years, and as Judd Zulgad points out he has a lot of similarities to former Vikings coordinator Mike Tomlin.  Williams is a Tampa-2 guy, which is something that is likely to sit well with Frazier and his vision for his defense.

This search for a Defensive Coordinator is bordering on goofy, as the Vikings seem to be having trouble convincing candidates to join a coach that will enter 2012 on the hot seat in coaching a team that may or may not have a place in which they can, you know, play football. 

It is an understandable challenge.

However, I can’t help but wonder if one or more other things aren’t at play here.

First, if Mike Singletary were a serious candidate for this job, why is Frazier continuing to bring in candidates now that Singletary’s previous position has been offered to Pagac?  If I had to guess, I would say Singletary and his 3-4 scheme is not the direction that Frazier wants to go, and that he is doing his buddy a solid by trying to put out there into the universe the idea that Singletary is actually coveted by at least one NFL team.

Secondly, I can’t help but wonder if Frazier is purposely not pulling the trigger because he actually wants to talk to a coach that is still a part of a team that is alive in the playoffs.  Perhaps Frazier expected this guy’s team to already have lost their playoff game and that he would now be available for an interview?  Perhaps this guy’s defense recently held the 2012 Super Bowl Champion Packers to 388 yards and 20 points while employing a 4-3 defense?

Perhaps.

Why else would it be taking so long for Frazier to fill a position that has unofficially, at least for practical reasons, been vacant for nearly two months now?

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