Vikings Sever Ties with Another 2022 Coach

2 Vikings Reach PFF's Top 50 of 2022
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Many Minnesota Vikings fans expected a change defensively for the 2023 season after the club floundered mightily a month ago in the postseason against the New York Giants.

The most significant defense-oriented amendment to date this offseason was the termination of 2022 defensive bossman Ed Donatell and the hire of ex-Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores. And at a press conference this week, Flores preached aggression, not recklessness, as his brand of football.

Vikings Sever Ties with Another 2022 Coach

To effectuate the mindset, the Vikings are evidently tweaking the coaching personnel, as ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler tweeted Saturday, “Vikings and linebacker coach Greg Manusky are parting ways, per source. Minnesota making its transition to DC Brian Flores. Manusky, a long-time NFL coordinator, should have options.”

Ties with Another 2022
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports.

Manusky, 56, was the team’s linebackers coach for just one season, joining the club when Kevin O’Connell took over as head coach 12 months ago. The Vikings starting linebackers, Eric Kendricks and Jordan Hicks, were considered weak spots on the defensive depth chart when it was all said and done in 2022, although neither performed terribly. The twosome merely lacked speed, and when rookie Brian Asamoah experienced playing time in glimpses, it felt like a breath of fresh air.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports.

A former player, Manusky played for the Washington Commanders (1988-1990), Vikings (1991-1993), and Kansas City Chiefs (1994-199) as a — you guessed it — linebacker. He became a coach in 2001 and has spent time in that capacity with the Commanders, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Indianapolis Colts, University of Kentucky, and Vikings.

On the aforementioned Flores, the 41-year-old last coached the Pittsburgh Steelers as a linebackers coach in 2022, so he likely has a different vision than Manusky and hence the severing of ties. Minnesota is expected to evaluate the contracts of Kendricks and Hicks in the coming weeks and could part ways with one or both men.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports.

Sans Manusky [and likely other coaches] Flores is tasked with rectifying a defense on the fly that ranked 27th via defensive EPA/play, 30th in points allowed, and 31st in yards allowed in 2022. When the unit forced turnovers, the Vikings found ways to win, to the tune of a 13-4 record. Yet, games without turnovers forced spelled a different story as the defense leaked like a sieve.

Minnesota also has the 23rd overall pick in April’s draft and could use the rookie capital to improve at cornerback, the defensive line, or off-ball linebacker. Flores was a scout for the New England Patriots, so he knows how to find ingredients for his recipe.

NFL free agency begins the week of March 13th.

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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