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Question Of The Week: Time For A Coaching Change?

In 2010, Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings ranked 23nd in offensive yards gained and 29th in points scored.  They ranked 10th in rushing offense and 26th in passing offense.

When the Vikings transitioned from Brad Childress to Leslie Frazier in the head coaching spot, Bill Musgrave was hired to head the Vikings offense and their top draft picks were spent on quarterback Christian Ponder and tight end Kyle Rudolph.

This offseason General Manager Rick Spielman devoted a good portion of his resources towards improving the roster on the offensive side of the ball.  Four of their top six picks were spent on offensive players, including a star left tackle and two receivers.  Receiver Jerome Simpson, tight end John Carlson, and offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz were among the only notable free agency moves the team made.

So what has the improvement been?

The Vikings offense of 2012, approaching the toughest part of their schedule, is currently:

17th in points scored (improved from 2010)

22nd in yards gained (improved)

5th in rushing (improved)

30th in passing (regressed)

So, with much being made about Christian Ponder’s lack of production, people are starting to wonder if Bill Musgrave is on the verge of being dismissed.  In a season and a half, Musgrave has had three quarterbacks start in his offense (McNabb, Webb, and Ponder) and none of seen any overwhelming success to speak of.

If Ponder and company, possibly without Percy Harvin, dial up another stinker on Sunday against the Lions then the echoes of boos will be ringing well into the Vikings bye week.  This leads us to today’s question of the week.

So, here is a chance to cast one more vote today:

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Adam Warwas

Adam Warwas (Founder) has been writing about the Vikings for a total of eight years. Five of those years have been here at Vikings Territory where he continues to surround himself with enough talented individuals that people keep coming back. As proud as he is of what Vikings Territory has become, his real treasures are in his home... a beautiful wife and three amazing children (and a dog named Percy).

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  1. I don’t really see how he can be fired in season. Who on the current staff would replace him? There are veteran offensive assistants like George Stewart and Craig Johnson, but I don’t believe anyone on the staff is looked at as an up and comer that would really make a difference. Frazier is a defensive minded coach so he isn’t going to be taking over. One of my problems with the staff Frazier put together was a lack of prepared candidates should someone fail. We are most likely stuck with what we have for the next 7 games.

  2. I don’t think musgrave should be fired before Frazier, I think coaches should stay together. I think Frazier and musgrave should both be fired aping with Williams unless there is dramatic improvement soon.

  3. Not sure I see a benefit of firing a coach mid-season. As Dan T was saying, who on the staff would replace Musgrave? Not sure we have anyone that could do that at the moment. Also, while Musgrave is part of the problem, there’s plenty of blame to go around. The leaky O-Line, Ponder, the receivers, and Musgrave are all doing their part to add to the offenses poor production.

  4. not so hasty, let’em finish out the year, kiss em goodbye. Between now and then Zygie needs to do his homework and see who might be available as a competent replacement. Andy Reid needs a fresh start, but not sure on that one, I would make an all out run at John Gruden, or maybe Bill Cowher! OR,,,,,,,It may even be a much better idea to HIRE BILL POLIAN and let him find a competent coaching staff. Any takers?

  5. Adam, this article is an example of what we used to call “throwing a skunk in the chicken house.” You just wanted to see the results, didn’t ya? By the way, was that Darrell Bevell calling plays to carve up our defense last Sunday? Was that the same Darrell Bevell who used to….

    1. Coach, I had my heart dry on throwing a skunk into the chicken coop… But Musgrave told me to throw it six yards short.

      (Waiting to hear back from you, sir)

          1. No, no, no… not Don Rickles. He was sarcastic, insulting and rude. (Freds). This is more like Henny Youngman. “My friend said cheer up, things could be worse. So I cheered up and he was right, things got worse.”

            1. Amazing, I was going to go with Henny, but I didn’t want to get the whole “take my wife, please” thing fired up.

  6. The whole staff needs to go. It’s embarrassing how long it’s been since we’ve had a good coaching staff.. We let the only decent coach we’ve had go to Pittsburgh. That being said, I agree that all changes should wait til the offseason

    1. I was never a huge fan of Tomlin, we had a great dl and run defense under him but still couldn’t stop the pass. I will say he’s the best coach we’ve had since billick/dungy tho. I’d like to see a high profile coach come to MN (not dungy tho I was never too high on a guy who couldn’t win it all even with great teams and Peyton Manning for a decade).

    2. i liked tomlin better than childo and wished he was our HC. i guess childo gets some credit for hiring him, but i could tell that tomlin was gonna be good. i didn’t like schilschmuck from the start

    1. Can’t argue with him, but there’s names I like better. If God cares about my opinion (which after last nights elections I doubt) he will give us Cowher or Gruden. I’d also like Kelly, Billick, Kiffin, Mora, Saban(I know I know but the guy is awesome at Bama), Miles, or Meyer.

      1. God cared about my opinion in last night’s election, so we should listen to me on this one. Aggressive pursuit of the Chip man. Though honestly, I think he’s happy where he’s at, and has no desire to head to the NFL at this point in his career.

        Not so much on Kiffen or Saban for me, but the rest of the list is worthy of consideration. I’ve always had a soft spot for Billick, Not entirely sure why.

              1. I thought the players were a reflection of the coach?

                Seems like some flat-topped fellar told me that once…..

  7. I question whether Kelly will be able to have success in the NFL. If you look at Harbaugh and Schiano, they both ran more of a pro-style system in college and that has helped them have success in the NFL. I’m not saying he’ll definitely flop, but I could see him being more Steve Spurrier than Jim Harbaugh. It’s always a bit of a crapshoot bringing in college coaches.

    1. I agree that he would be a complete crapshoot, but if you’ve ever watched a Duck game, it’s pretty exciting. Will his style translate to the NFL? I know the no-huddle seems to be doing pretty well, so that’s a no-brainer.

      The guy has cajones, and is creative as hell, and I think it’d be fun to give him a shot. I mean seriously, what do we have to lose at this point?

      1. Yup, they are one of my favorite teams to watch. I think he’ll have offensive success as long as he can get the players he needs to run the explosive system he prefers (we don’t have many guys that fit his mold outside of Percy and AP). I would want to see him bring in a veteran NFL defensive coordinator to handle that side of the ball. Frankly I think getting him to Minnesota is a pipe dream at this point. If they do fire the current coaching staff, I don’t think Spielman is going to dip into the college well for a coach and I’m pretty sure he’ll be the guy making the next decision. We’ll end up with someone he feels comfortable with for another 3 year run of mediocre play and then, with the team support dwindling and a new stadium ready to open you’ll see the Wilfs blow it up again…and that’s when I could see a Chip Kelley or other big college name coach come into play, when the owners are desperate to make a big time splash with the new Stadium about to open. Or maybe Spielman hits the nail on the head and picks the right coach after this year and we’ll be expecting a Super Bowl run when the new place opens. Of course it’s still too early to say that they make any coaching moves. They win one out of the next 7 and they’ve still doubled last years win total which isn’t bad when you think about it, but the overall play needs to get a lot better if any of these guys want to return next year.

        1. Dan…..what makes you think Spielman is safe? None of them got contract extensions did they?

  8. Hmmmm….actually I have no idea what Spielman’s contract status is. I’m just assuming he’ll be back because he’s only technically been in charge for one off-season worth of work and the Wilf’s seem to like him. He sold them on a long term project so I think there is a far better chance Ziggy gives him the opportunity to bring in a head coach of his own and see how that goes than outright firing him. I know Frazier’s contract isn’t guaranteed for next year unless they changed something without announcing it, so he’s the easy fall guy. Really from the Wilf’s perspective the only thing I’ld hold against Spielman in his first full year of being in charge is the Carlson contract. All the other FA moves were low risk and the draft class has worked out pretty well.