Thursday, December 14, 2017

Fred Pagac

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The Leslie Frazier era in Vikings history will be described in history books as, well… so forgettable that it probably won’t be mentioned in history books.  That’s just the truth of it.

There were some shrouds of mystery during Frazier’s tenure as head coach, however, and one of those was the decision to hire his former teammate and close friend Mike Singletary.  Singletary was a linebackers coach and special assistant to Frazier, but his contract expires at the end of January, and he said he plans to leave the team.  He may not have had a choice with a new regime settling in, but Singletary told the Pioneer Press this was going to be his decision whether or not Frazier was fired.

Singletary’s role with the Vikings often perplexed fans and the local beat writers.particularly prior to Fred Pagac’s promotion to defensive coordinator, and his unit has certainly not performed well since Pagac’s departure.

Singletary did say that he met with newly hired head coach Mike Zimmer and noted that he’s “been a good coach for a long time.”

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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.


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?


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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The Vikings had been interviewing candidates for a Defensive Coordinator position that was still held by Fred Pagac.

That ends today.

The team has not hired a new defensive coordinator yet, and the list of candidates has again grown and now includes Miami Dolphins interim head coach Todd Bowles, but they did officially remove the title from Pagac.

The Vikings offered for Pagac to return to his previous job of coaching the team’s linebackers, but it is unknown if he will be willing to accept the demotion.  The linebackers job currently is held by Mike Singletary, a candidate for the defensive coordinator position himself.

This move is thought to be a sign the Singletary will be moving to the coordinator position.

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