The Arizona Vikings? Cardinals Coaching Staff Looks Like It.

The Arizona Cardinals are conducting a big ‘ol festival of hiring former Minnesota Vikings coaches.

The club hired Vikings assistant linebackers coach Sam Seifkes Thursday after two years in Minnesota. The Arizona Republic’s Bob McManaman tweeted, “The Cardinals continue to add more assistants to Jonathan Gannon’s coaching staff as they reportedly are hiring Sam Seifkes as linebackers coach, according to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero. Seifkes spent the past two seasons with the Vikings.”

The Arizona Vikings? Cardinals Coaching Staff Looks Like It.

Seifkes was the Vikings defensive quality control and assistant linebackers coach in 2021 and “just” assistant linebackers coach last year.

The Arizona Vikings
Minnesota Vikings assistant linebackers coach Sam Seifkes, who joined the team in 2021. He was hired by Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon on February 23rd, 2022, to become Arizona’s linebackers coach.

Before he arrived in the NFL, Seifkes was the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for Wofford College in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and before that, the defensive boss for UW-Platteville in 2016 and 2017. He got his start in 2015 at the University of Wisconsin as a defensive assistant.

And Seifkes is just the latest. Former Vikings assistant defensive backs coach Jonathan Gannon landed the Cardinals head coaching job after Super Bowl LVII. Gannon was the Eagles defensive coordinator in 2021 and 2022 and outlasted an exhaustive Cardinals search for their next skipper, which included new Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores.

Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon speaks to the press at the Cardinals facility in Tempe on Feb. 22, 2023. © Joe Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Before rising to power in Philadelphia and Arizona, Gannon’s ties to the Vikings were relatively recent and dated back to the Mike Zimmer era. He was the assistant defensive backs coach from 2014 to 2017 behind Jerry Gray and is credited with polishing players like Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, and Mackensie Alexander.

After that, Gannon took on back-to-back-back promotions, first with the Indianapolis Colts from 2018 to 2020 as defensive backs coach. Then, from 2021 until now, Gannon led the Eagles defense to consecutive playoff berths, culminating in the Super Bowl loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Now, he’s in charge of the Cardinals.

But wait. There’s more.

Vikings coach from
Vikings wide receiver coach Drew Petzing in 2019 talking to Vikings media about his role in developing the team’s WRs. Minnesota finished 10-6 in 2019, won a road playoff game over the New Orleans Saints and lost to the San Francisco 49ers one week later.

Drew Petzing, who worked in Minnesota from 2014 to 2019, will lead the Cardinals offense next year. He began his career as an offensive assistant (2014-2015) with the Vikings, became an assistant wide receivers coach (2016-2017), an assistant quarterback coach (2018), and then finally the wide receivers coach in 2019. Thereafter, he journeyed to the Cleveland Browns as a tight ends and quarterbacks coach before taking the spiffy OC job in Arizona.

Finally, Nick Rallis was hired as the Cardinals defensive coordinator last weekend, and he worked for the Vikings from 2018 to 2020 as a defensive quality control and assistant linebackers coach. Rallis is from Edina and played football at the University of Minnesota.

That’s four men, at least for now, with Vikings ties on the Cardinals 2023 coaching staff:

  • Head Coach = Jonathan Gannon
  • Defensive Coordinator = Nick Rallis
  • Offensive Coordinator = Drew Petzing
  • Linebackers Coach = Sam Seifkes
Cardinals Snipe Veteran Vikings QB
Oct 20, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Detailed view of the helmet of Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) against the New Orleans Saints at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

The ex-Vikings foursome will be asked to rectify a miserable 2022 Cardinals season where the franchise unloaded huge dollars to a head coach and general manager who were later fired, fired up a terrible 4-13 record, and encountered an awful injury to QB1 Kyler Murray. And, yes, that’s the same Murray with no concrete timetable for return.

The Cardinals also employ former Vikings David Blough (QB), Nate Hairston (CB), and Blake Lynch (LB), who are all under contract in 2023.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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