Jim Souhan
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The process the Vikings took to find their defensive coordinator could be described by a number of ominous adjectives. Like: Ominous.

Or worrisome. Or alarming.

A 13-victory team with a likable head coach and general manager and tremendous facilities needed a defensive coach, and nobody seemed to want the job. Ejiro Evero took the defensive coordinator position with the Carolina Panthers without interviewing with the Vikings.

Why didn't anyone want to work with Kevin O'Connell? Was the Vikings' defensive talent really that bad? Was Ed Donatell, among his peers, viewed as a scapegoat, not the problem?

With one move on Monday, the Vikings erased any such concerns. They hired former Patriots defensive coach and Dolphins head coach Brian Flores to be their defensive coordinator.

Evero might prove to be a great coach. All we know at the moment is that the Vikings hired the best candidate for the job. Not just the best candidate remaining on the market. The best candidate.

Flores was excellent in various coaching roles for the Patriots' defense. He was a good head coach, going 19-14 his last two seasons in Miami. His defense, in that time, improved from 30th to 20th to 15th in yards allowed, and it finished sixth and 16th in points allowed in his last two seasons.

He did not deserve to be fired, and after he was fired, he sued the NFL over its employment policies regarding minority head coaches.

He spent last season with a former Vikings defensive coordinator, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.

In terms of experience, connections and knowledge, Flores is ideal for the Vikings. He might even be an ideal personality fit.

O'Connell isn't the backslapping, happy-go-lucky, Kumbaya crooner he tried to portray himself to be when he first arrived in Minnesota. He just fired the first defensive coordinator he ever hired, and wasn't shy about hinting at his displeasure regarding Donatell and certain players this season.

But O'Connell believes in being a modern communicator; Flores is known for being more gruff. The Vikings now essentially have two excellent coordinators running their team.

The Wilfs strove for stability with former general manager Rick Spielman and former coach Mike Zimmer, and they were rewarded with, in general, competitiveness.

Flores should scrap Donatell's 3-4 scheme and go back to a 4-3, with Danielle Hunter and Za'Darius Smith as traditional defensive ends and Eric Kendricks as a traditional middle linebacker. He should let Harrison Smith get back to disguising his intentions and playing all over the field, instead of acting as a center fielder playing behind a terrible pitching staff.

Maybe all of the Vikings' key defenders got old at the same time and have nothing left. I'd be more willing to bet that each of them will look younger and faster in a scheme better suited to their skills and instincts.

After firing Spielman and Zimmer, the Wilfs embarked on their first franchise makeover as mature, knowing, NFL owners. Their major hires:

General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. His first draft will be saved only if safety Lewis Cine and cornerback Andrew Booth prove their worth, starting this season, but the acquisitions of Za'Darius Smith and T.J. Hockenson are promising.

O'Connell helped Kirk Cousins thrive in clutch situations and produced the most productive season of Justin Jefferson's career, while abandoning the Vikings' old and dated run-first mentality.

Flores gives them a chance to win schematic and in-game intellectual duels with opposing offenses.

NFL offenses require a certain amount of explosive talent to thrive. NFL defenses can be improved by excellent coaching,

Tony Dungy was a little like Flores. He, too, was a former Steelers defensive coach who became a coordinator with the Vikings. In the '90s, he took John Randle and a bunch of oddballs and produced brilliant defenses.

A good defensive coordinator can make everyone a step faster, can disguise coverages and mask blitzes and make opposing quarterbacks hold the ball for that extra split-second that makes all the difference.

The Vikings couldn't have done better.