Since the 2018 Minnesota Vikings season was unceremoniously ended by the Chicago Bears in Week 17, one of the biggest talking points surrounding the team has been who will be given the role of Offensive Coordinator in 2019. Names like Mike Mularkey, Dirk Koetter, and Hue Jackson have been bandied about over the past couple weeks, to varying degrees of warmth from the Vikings faithful.
Today we learned that the Vikings are eschewing all the outside possibilities and staying in-house for their hire, retaining the services of Kevin Stefanski. From Adam Schefter, and now being widely reported and confirmed:
Kevin Stefanski, a finalist for the Browns' head-coaching job, is returning to Minnesota as the Vikings offensive coordinator, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 9, 2019
Stefanski was reported to be in the running as one of two final candidates for the Cleveland Browns Head Coaching position. The Browns ended up going with Freddie Kitchens instead, which allowed the Vikings to keep Stefanski.
While many fans may have wanted a new face to shake up an offense that under-performed in 2018, it’s understandable that the Vikings would want some continuity on their coaching staff at a position that has had more than its fair share of turnover during the Mike Zimmer era. Stefanski was already the fourth Offensive Coordinator in five seasons in Minnesota, succeeding Norv Turner, Pat Shurmur, and John DeFilippo. Of course Stefanski had been around for eight years before Zimmer even showed up: he has been with the team since the 2006 season after joining Brad Childress as an assistant.
Hopefully a full offseason of familiar faces on the coaching staff (along with some much-needed reinforcements in the trenches) will help remedy some of the ills that befell Kirk Cousins and the Vikings offense in 2018. Because if the Vikings fail to make the postseason again in 2019, there may be a lot of job openings among the Minnesota coaching staff a year from now.
What do you think of the (re-)hire? Was going with familiarity and continuity the right choice or was sticking with Stefanski uninspiring? Let us know in the comments.