In the NFL, no coaching staff remains completely the same from year to year. Often times, assistants find better opportunities elsewhere or are promoted from within. That was the case for former Miami Dolphins head coach Dan Campbell, who replaced Joe Philbin and went 5-7 in the interim role. According to reports from the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson, the Minnesota Vikings recently inquired about Campbell, who was granted his release after the team hired Adam Gase as its next head coach.
The Vikings were one of three (Cowboys, Chargers) teams to express interest in Campbell, a former NFL tight end and tight ends coach with the Miami Dolphins. He took over head coaching duties in Week 5, going 5-7 in 12 games at the helm. His stint started with a bang, as Campbell led the team to two straight blowout victories over the Titans and Texans. But the Dolphins struggled down the stretch, losing seven of their last 10 games to finish the year 6-10.
It’s unclear why the Vikings would pursue Campbell, who began his coaching career in 2010 as an “offensive coaching intern.” From 2011 to the early portion of 2015, he was Miami’s tight ends coach, where he helped Charles Clay earn a reputation as one of the league’s better receiving tight ends. Kevin Stefanski is the Vikings’ current tight ends coach, and 2016 will be his third season in the role. He’s been with the organization for 10 years and it’s hard to imagine Campbell replacing him in Minnesota.
With a talented group of tight ends that include Kyle Rudolph, MyCole Pruitt, and Rhett Ellison, Stefanski has a chance to make his mark on Norv Turner’s offense in 2016. Rudolph set a career-high in receiving yards last season, while Pruitt flashed the skill set that made him one of the sneakiest picks in the 2015 NFL Draft. Ellison, who tore his meniscus against the Green Bay Packers in Week 17, is one of the team’s more valuable free agents because of his dual-threat ability as a blocker and receiver.