Monday, January 22, 2018

Mike Singletary

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.

Reports are starting to surface that the Vikings have, as expected, officially parted ways with defensive line coach Karl Dunbar.

Some may find it funny that Dunbar, a fairly longstanding and respected member of the coaching staff, is being fired after one of his key players nearly broke the single season sack record.

The problem Leslie Frazier has with Dunbar may never be made public, but there are a few things to point towards when wondering why this has happened.

First, in May, Dunbar was charged with sexual assault and he received a restraining order as a result of the woman’s complaints.  That type of thing will never sit well with an organization trying to maintain a positive public image.

Secondly, I found it interesting that Jared Allen recently came out and enthusiastically defended defensive coordinator Fred Pagac but never said a word (that I heard or read, anyways) about what a great job Dunbar, his position coach, had been doing.  Allen is seemingly willing to fight tooth and nail for Pagac, which makes his silence on Dunbar even more telling.

Dunbar is likely the first of multiple coaching changes to be made on defense.

Pagac may or may not stay in his current role and may even be bound to leave the team all together.  We already passed along the fact that the Vikings are talking to Raheem Morris about a role on the defense.

Another interesting thing to throw into all of that, Larry Fitzgerald Sr. is a fairly connected guy within the Minnesota sports community, and he is under the impression that Mike Singletary will be the next defensive coordinator of your Minnesota Vikings.

Now that the Tidily Winks have landed in their proper places at Winter Park, and it has been clarified that Leslie Frazier has control over who leaves and who joins the Vikings coaching staff, the next question that will need to be answered is, well, who leaves and who joins?

According to a lengthy report from Tom Pelissero, the changes are most likely going to be experienced on the defensive side of the football.

For starters, defensive line coach Karl Dunbar has reportedly told players that he will not be returning, although it is unclear whether that is by choice or otherwise.

Defensive backs coaches Joe Woods and Matt Sheldon have also been preparing for the possibility that they will not be welcomed back.

It is widely expected that defensive coordinator Fred Pagac will either be dismissed or allowed to return to his previous post as the linebackers coach which is currently occupied by Mike Singletary (I will get to that in a second).  Pagac was not allowed to run the cover-1 blitzing defense, which is his preferred scheme, and reportedly “lost the confidence of some players” and was stripped of his play calling duties for a portion of November.

I find the case of Pagac to be a mysterious one, and tend to fall out of the majority here in thinking he should not be fired.

It was Pagac’s play calling and defense that largely kept the Vikings in close contests for the first five weeks of the season while they tried their best to bail out a completely inept offense.

Later on, the excuses began to pile up for a defense that began to lose their punch.  Those excuses are just that, excuses, but it is hard to deny that the Chris Cook legal situation and numerous injuries in the secondary gave Pagac very little to work with.

Then, when Pagac was seemingly given permission to take the gloves off and run his cover-1 scheme in the final week of the season, the Vikings generated a ton of pressure against the Bears and allowed 17 points, the second lowest point total allowed by the Vikings all season long.  The defense hadn’t played better since week five (when they were healthier) against Arizona, but again the offense didn’t have the firepower for the Vikings to win the game.

I’m not saying the Vikings couldn’t do better than Pagac, I just think he needs to be given a little more credit for the job he has done in his first year as a coordinator.  If the Vikings let him go, I get the feeling he will succeed elsewhere.

Okay, back to Mike Singletary.

According to Pelissero’s report, the close friend of Leslie Frazier (and assistant Head Coach) made a complete ass out of himself this season.  There are apparently concerns about his intelligence and also his preparation for game day, both of which are not good things to have said about you, no matter what type of coach you are.

Singletary supposedly often left assistant Jeff Imamura in charge of position meetings, skipped meetings the night before December’s game against Detroit to attend a wedding, and “occupied himself much of the season with side projects” instead of preparing his players to win football games.

It is not completely known who will for sure be leaving, or who their replacements might be, but it does seem likely that Singletary will be asked to move along.

These are all answers we should get soon enough.