Another Vikings Coach — Not Brian Flores — Could Be Hot Candidate for New Gig

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Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores is tentatively expected to interview for the New England Patriots suddenly vacant head coaching gig after legendary skipper Bill Belichick left the organization Thursday morning.

But that may not be the only current Vikings coach testing the waters elsewhere.

Another Vikings Coach — Not Brian Flores — Could Be Hot Candidate for New Gig

Wide receiver coach Keenan McCardell will likely get more nibbles from various teams, perhaps in an offensive coordinator role.

Not Brian Flores
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.

CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco tweeted Wednesday, “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.”

Vikings players and fans absolutely adore McCardell, so the Prisco tweet is no surprise. In fact, McCardell may have reached a spot in his coaching career where it would be weird if he didn’t latch on as an offensive coordinator somewhere in the league.

1 Beloved Vikings Coach
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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 materialized. Those conversations, though, proved the former NFL wideout was knocking on the door of his next chapter, which could arrive this offseason.

McCardell played a whopping 16 seasons in the NFL from 1992 to 2007 and is ranked 35th all-time via receiving yards in NFL history with 11,373. He also won a Super Bowl with the 2002 Buccaneers.

You Should Prepare
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The 54-year-old was welcomed to the Vikings coaching staff in 2021, and when the franchise cleaned house 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.

In December, Justin Jefferson told James Palmer of NFL Network about McCardell, “When Mike Zimmer left, and coach Kevin O’Connell came, that was one of the things I requested was for him to stay with us. I love him as a person. I love him as a coach. It’s been great to have him teach me different things throughout the season.”

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McCardell, too, helped develop Jordan Addison, who posted fantastic rookie numbers this season.

“Having a person like him that played in the league, 17 years, knows the feeling of being out there on the field, knows the injuries, knows the circumstances […] It’s great to have him there with us,” Jefferson added a few weeks ago.

McCardell also played for the Washington Commanders and Los Angeles Chargers, so keep an eye on those clubs for an OC job, in addition to the Patriots.

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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