A little while ago, the Minnesota Vikings announced the initial coaching staff under first year head coach Mike Zimmer. They are:
George Edwards, Defensive Coordinator
Mike Priefer, Special Teams Coordinator
Norv Turner, Offensive Coordinator
Robb Akey, Assistant Defensive Line
Jeff Davidson, Offensive Line
Ryan Ficken, Assistant Special Teams
Johnathan Gannon, Assistant Defensive Backs / Quality Control
Jerry Gray, Defensive Backs
Jeff Howard, Defensive Assistant
Klint Kubiak, Assistant Wide Receivers / Quality Control
Andre Patterson, Defensive Line
Drew Petzing, Coaching Assistant
Kevin Stefanski, Tight Ends
George Stewart, Wide Receivers
Scott Turner, Quarterbacks
Kirby Wilson, Running Backs
Adam Zimmer, Linebackers
Three coaches from the 2013 staff were retained in their same positions. Mike Priefer will stay as the special teams coach, Jeff Davidson will coach the o-line, and George Stewart will still coach the wide receiver position.
There are also some coaches sons on the staff, too. Mike Zimmer's son Adam will be the new Vikings linebackers coach, replacing Mike Singletary, and he will be charged with improving quite possibly the worst LB corps in the NFL from 2013. Scott Turner, son of offensive coordinator Norv Turner, will be the Vikings quarterbacks coach, and will also have his work cut out for him there. Klint Kubiak, son of former Texans head coach and current Ravens OC Gary Kubiak, is the assistant WR coach and quality control coach.
I'll be honest, I'm kind of surprised that the Vikings kept Mike Priefer. Yes, he's a very good special teams coach, but considering the controversy surrounding him, Chris Kluwe, and the ongoing investigation from that, the fact that he was retained is surprising. Either the Vikings are confident that the distraction won't be enough to compromise Priefer's ability to handle the special teams, or they refuse to be intimidated by a former player.
I almost have to think, at this point, the Vikings are convinced that nothing will come of the independent investigation and the subsequent Kluwe lawsuit. Think about it--if there was a good chance you would have to dismiss your special teams coordinator, would you keep him on? And no, I really don't think there was any kind of 'eff you' aspect to this at all--Priefer is a good special teams coach, Zimmer wanted the best staff he could assemble, and Priefer provides a bit of continuity from the old staff to the new staff. If that aspect was a big reason, that's a poor decsion making process for your head coach, and it would give me pause.
So there's your new coaching staff. What are your thoughts, Vikings fans?