During his season-ending press conference on Thursday, the media that covers the Minnesota Vikings asked head coach Mike Zimmer about the team’s search for an offensive coordinator. According to Zimmer, there’s definitely a timeline in place to make that decision, and it’s coming up here shortly.
Q: How does it complicate Kevin Stefanski not being under contract and being able to talk to teams?
A: Well he is technically under contract until Tuesday. So we have exclusive rights to that. Obviously, I’ll decide before then.
So, we’re going to have a decision in the next few days here, which is good. There haven’t been any actual reports of the Vikings interviewing anyone for that position, but there has been a lot of speculation that the job could potentially go to former Cleveland Browns’ head coach Hue Jackson. . .speculation that has triggered a lot of anger and nausea among the faithful, and for good reason.
The media tried to steer things toward those rumors on Thursday, but Zimmer cut them off.
Q: Do you put any more weight on coaching candidates who you’ve worked with in the past?
A: No, not really. I know where you’re going with that question, but it’s not a good question. I mean, it’s a good question, but probably you’re fishing in the wrong pond.
Zimmer and Jackson did work together in Cincinnati for a number of years under Marvin Lewis, and Jackson has had a bit of success as an offensive coordinator in the past, but. . .come on.
According to one well-placed source, however, it doesn’t sound like Vikings fans have to worry about a Jackson/Zimmer reunion any time soon.
WOAH!!!! @PAOnTheMic just said #92Noon @KFAN1003 that he "has it on good authority" that #Vikings will NOT be hiring Hue Jackson as Offensive Coordinator. When he makes predictions like this, he's never wrong. #Skol— KFAN1003 (@KFAN1003) January 4, 2019
Say what you will about Paul Allen, but there are few, if any, people that are better connected to the Minnesota Vikings than he is. If he doesn’t think the Vikings are hiring Hue Jackson, I’m inclined to believe him.
With all of that said, and given the data that we currently have at our disposal, it sounds like it would be a huge upset of the Vikings didn’t just promote Kevin Stefanski to the full-time gig. Yes, his debut could have gone better, particularly the season finale, but people were high on him last offseason to be Pat Shurmur’s replacement before the job ultimately went to John DeFilippo. I think a full offseason to put together his offense. . .and some assurances that Rick Spielman will actually make a real effort to fix the offensive line this year. . .could be a good thing for the Vikings.
Again, we haven’t heard anything about the Vikings interviewing any other candidates, so if there’s a horse in this race other than Stefanski, we have no idea who it is. According to the coach, however, we’ll know by Tuesday.