Pair of Vikings Coaches Basically Forgotten in Carousel

NFL: Preseason-Minnesota Vikings at Cincinnati Bengals
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In theory, the 2024 offseason could’ve been rough and tumble for interviews involving Minnesota Vikings coaches.

And then nothing happened.

Pair of Vikings Coaches Basically Forgotten in Carousel

The NFL’s coaching carousel is nearly complete, with the Washington Commanders holding the final head coach vacancy. Soon, that franchise will hire a head coach, that man or woman will fill out a staff, and the process will be complete. Somehow, nary a Vikings coach was interviewed for a head coaching gig or even offensive or defensive coordinator.

Coaches Basically
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It was a shutout.

Minnesota hired Brian Flores as defensive coordinator one year ago, replacing Ed Donatell, who spent one season as the Vikings’ defensive boss. Flores turned Minnesota’s defense around in one year, creating the league’s 11th-best defense per DVOA, a 13-spot improvement from 2022 when it ranked 24th. Not bad.

Could Lose Brian Flores
Minnesota Vikings Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center. Flores was hired in February 2023 to take over for Ed Donatel after Minnesota finished 30th in points allowed.

Accordingly, Flores should have received a few head coaching nibbles, as the 42-year-old did marvelous work in Minnesota and led the Miami Dolphins for three seasons before a bizarre dismissal two years ago. Many expected Flores only to be interested in a head coaching position if the organization were sturdy and reputable, like the New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys, or Pittsburgh Steelers. The Patriots had an opening after Bill Belichick’s departure, and Jerod Mayo took over immediately. Then, Flores didn’t interview for any jobs this cycle.

Unless something unforeseen transpires, it’s Flores for Year No. 2 in Minnesota.

Called On for Pro
Minnesota Vikings Wide Receivers Coach Keenan McCardell addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center. McCardell joined the Vikings in 2021 as wide receivers coach and is credited with helping to develop Justin Jefferson and others.

Meanwhile, Vikings wide receiver coach Keenan McCardell was expected to command offensive coordinator attention. Earlier this month, CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco tweeted, “Teams looking for an offensive coordinator should look at Vikings receiver coach Keenan McCardell. He knows the game and his players respect the hell out of him. He won’t be easy on anybody either. Pro’s pro.”

The 54-year-old was welcomed to the Vikings coaching staff in 2021, and when the franchise flipped the script with a new general manager and coaches two years ago, McCardell was the last man standing for coaching continuity. Even notable personalities like Andre Patterson ventured to new teams. But McCardell stayed, pairing with new skipper Kevin O’Connell.

1 Beloved Vikings Coach
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports.

Last offseason, during the NFL’s annual coaching carousel, McCardell interviewed for OC positions with the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but no deals came to fruition. Because he received OC attention last year, it seemed like a natural progression that he’d chat with teams this offseason. No luck.

The aforementioned Commanders could still be a spot where McCardell fetches an interview as offensive coordinator, but that’s merely a theory as of early February.

Other notable Vikings coaches like Daronte Jones (defensive passing game coordinator) and Matt Daniels (special teams) also stayed put without promotion buzz around the league.

Ergo, it’s a familiar Vikings slogan for all — maybe next year.

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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