Another Vikings Coach Could Head to New York

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Two years ago, former Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Andre Patterson departed for the New York Giants after Mike Zimmer left the Twin Cities. He paired with Don Martindale, also known as Wink, as the defensive line coach. But after the 2023 season, Martindale and the Giants severed ties, meaning the club will need a fresh defensive coordinator.

Another Vikings Coach Could Head to New York

Well, that could be another Vikings coach — this time Daronte Jones.

Coach Could Head
Minnesota Vikings defensive passing game coordinator Daronte Jones. Picture taken at Louisiana State University on April 1st, 2021. Jones coached on Mike Zimmer’s Vikings staff in 2020, went to LSU as defensive coordinator, and ended up with the Vikings again in 2022 under head coach Kevin O’Connell.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted Sunday, the day of the Pro Bowl, “The Giants interviewed Vikings DBs coach Daronte Jones for their defensive coordinator job, per source. The interview took place last week in Mobile, where Jones impressed as the National team’s defensive coordinator at the Senior Bowl.”

Taking charge of the Giants’ defense would be quite the promotion for Jones after a handful of jobs in the NFL and a high-profile gig as LSU’s defensive coordinator in 2021. Here’s Jones’ resume since the start of 2015:

Wisconsin (2015)
Defensive backs coach

Miami Dolphins (2016–2017)
Assistant defensive backs coach

Cincinnati Bengals (2018–2019)
Cornerbacks coach

Minnesota Vikings (2020)
Defensive backs coach

LSU (2021)
Defensive coordinator

Minnesota Vikings (2022-present)
Defensive backs coach (2022)
Defensive pass game coordinator (2023-)

A Few Potential Landing Spots for Eric Kendricks
Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale and head coach Brian Daboll after the defense stopped Houston in the red zone in the second half. The Houston Texans at the New York Giants in a game played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, on November 13, 2022. © Chris Pedota, / USA TODAY NETWORK.

If Jones earns the job, he’d become the Vikings’ first notable offseason coaching departure. Defensive coordinator Brian Flores and wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell were expected to command interest amid the league’s coaching carousel, but neither have received interviews as of February 4th, at least not per public acknowledgement.

New York’s defense ranked 21st in the NFL this season per DVOA, an unremarkable spot for a team that reached the postseason in 2022. Head coach Brian Daboll won a playoff game as a rookie coach, downing the Vikings in the Wildcard Round last season. His follow-up season was marred by futility. New York finished 6-11.

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

New York also interviewed Baltimore’s Dennard Wilson for the defensive coordinator post, but he accepted the Tennessee Titans’ DC job. A few other candidates are also competing against Jones like Kansas City Chiefs linebackers coach Brendan Daly.

Jones was nominated as defensive coordinator at the Senior Bowl on Saturday, helping him gain national exposure on a visible stage. The maneuver evidently worked.

Meet the Frontrunner
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Should Jones get the job in New York, he’d inherit a decent amount of talent. Players like Dexter Lawrence, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Bobby Okereke, Deonte Banks, Boogie Basham, and Azeez Ojulari are under contract in 2024.

The Giants also employ former Vikings Wyatt Davis (OG) and Benton Whitley (OLB).

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,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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