Welcome to the first part of my series on what I believe the Vikings will and/or should do this off-season. Though I have absolutely no idea in hell what the Vikings will actually do this off-season, hopefully this should give the general Vikings community an idea of what needs to take place in order for beloved Minnesota Vikings to be playing for the Super Bowl next season.
I will start with an analysis with the upcoming decision by the Vikings on who their next head coach is going to be. I start here because when it comes down to roster decisions, who the coach is and what system they run will have a big impact on the Free Agents the Vikings will sign, the players that will be selected in the Draft, and how they reorganize their roster.
The big hammer has already dropped in regards to the Vikings coaching staff with the firing of Leslie Frazier. As most people who follow this The job of Rick Speilman is to now find a new coach to run the Vikings next season, and an amazing summary of possible coaches by our own Arif Hasan has been posted here (BTW Arif, a TL;DR might be appropriate for the article) for your reading pleasure.
Though our last coach was considered a defensive-minded head coach, I think going back to a defensive head coach might not be the worst thing ever. I mean, it is not as though Leslie Frazier was doing a great job of keeping the Vikings D afloat this season. I am also personally biased towards NFL coaches (having little to no exposure to college coaches) and will only present possible coaches that are already in the NFL. Therefore, my personal favorites for the Head Coaching Position are:
Dan Quinn, DB coach of the Seahawks- I am not sure how much talent the Seahawks DB's came into the NFL with, but Quinn has been shaping them into the "Legion of Boom" and no matter how many of them get suspended for drug violations, their backups step up and perform just as well. The Vikings could really use his skills in their secondary, which has never been known as the strong point of their Defense.
Mike Zimmer, DC of the Bengals- Us Viking fans still remember the beat down handed to us by the Bengals. Their Defense has suffered a number of devastating injuries this season, and at the end of the season, they were still ranked in the Top 10 Defenses. We could use the overall skill that he uses to guide a Defense in rebuilding our own Defense which has fallen on darker times.
Jay Gruden, OC of the Bengals- Maybe Andy Dalton isn't much better of a QB than Ponder, but he has developed enough this season to push the Bengals to the playoffs. He developed a nice system around the skills of the players on his team, and though maybe Dalton doesn't have the deep ball one would like when you have a Top-5 WR in AJ Green on your team, I think he could do a fine job of developing a QB into a system loaded with weapons.
My top two from these three are probably Quinn and Zimmer. Though people sometimes say that it is better to go in a different direction after letting go of a head coach, I don't think Frazier did a good enough job focusing on the Defense, and the Vikings should actually look for a coach to ramp up their Defensive ties. The Vikings, no matter what coach they bring in or what QB is starting next year, have the weapons on Offense to scare the crap out of any Defensive coordinator if they are used correctly.
And no, I don't think I will make a decision between the two of them. Both of them have their strengths and weaknesses, and I think the Vikings couldn't go wrong (hopefully) with either of them.
Pt. 2- Offensive Roster Decisions
Pt. 2.5- Defensive Roster Decisions
Pt. 3-Free Agent Targets
Pt. 4-Draft Projections