The Vikings’ search for an offensive coordinator to replace Pat Shurmur is now in its third week. And while the team apparently has an interview lined up with its next candidate, its hunt could be impacted by a number of outside factors.
According to Sirius XM’s Adam Caplan, the Vikings will interview Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo on Thursday. The team had expressed interest in DeFilippo, but until the Eagles granted permission for the Vikings to talk to him Thursday, the team was set to wait until Feb. 14, when DeFilippo’s contract with the Eagles would have expired.
It remains to be seen, though, if the Vikings will be the only team that could give DeFilippo a promotion.
The Colts reopened their search for a head coach after Josh McDaniels’ decision to stay as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator, and ESPN reported they are interviewing Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich on Friday. They reportedly also have interest in DeFilippo, and if Reich goes to Indianapolis, the Eagles could look to make DeFilippo their new offensive coordinator.
League sources had pegged Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski as the front-runner for the team’s coordinator job early in the process, after he interviewed at coach Mike Zimmer’s ranch in northern Kentucky the last weekend in January. With the Vikings now making a run at DeFilippo, though, Stefanski will have to see where he fits in the team’s plans, while considering the possibility of joining Shurmur in New York as his offensive coordinator.
Adding to the complexity:
The Vikings have interviewed former Seattle and Minnesota coordinator Darrell Bevell. They’ve also interviewed Texans quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan and Dan Campbell, the Saints assistant head coach and tight ends coach whom, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, the Colts have requested to interview. The Vikings were not expected to conduct follow-up interviews.
The eventual hire will play a big part, along with Zimmer, in helping to sort out the team’s quarterback situation. Case Keenum, Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater are all set to become free agents on March 14. Bridgewater’s contract situation — whether or not it will be tolled — is an additional factor.
“Whoever the offensive coordinator is, part of the process is do you blow it up and start from a whole new system?” General Manager Rick Spielman said last week. “Or do you continue to build on what we’ve built over the past year and a half? So those are the decisions Coach Zim will have to make.”
Essentially, there are several dominoes that need to fall before a number of openings — including the Vikings’ offensive coordinator job — are filled. McDaniels’ decision put another contingency in place Tuesday night, and while the Vikings could move things along with DeFilippo on Thursday, they’re still in a thicket of possibilities.