With the Vikings off-seaspn barely 24 hours old, it looks like they will be in the market for two new coordinators. Earlier this morning we told you Kevin Stefanski was going to become the new coach of the Cleveland Browns, and now it looks like defensive coordinator George Edwards won’t be returning, either:
Vikings’ defensive coordinator George Edwards is not expected to return to Minnesota for next season, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 13, 2020
There have been no reports about where Edwards will be or in what capacity, but apparently it won’t be in Minnesota as the defensive coordinator. ESPN Vikings beat reporter Courtney Cronin thinks Cleveland might be an option, where he would be reunited with Stefanski:
George Edwards going somewhere he can call plays, Zimmer's role since 2014, is why going w/ Kevin Stefanski to Cleveland is something I've been told to keep an eye on. How wild would that be - all 3 ex-Vikings coordinators reunited: Stefanski, Edwards, Priefer— Courtney Cronin (@CourtneyRCronin) January 13, 2020
Edwards came to Minnesota as the defensive coordinator in 2014, the year Mike ZImmer was named head coach. Although Zimmer still calls the defense on game day, Edwards was still heavily involved in the weekly gameplan, scouting, and coaching. In 2016, when Zimmer had to miss a game due to eye surgery, he was responsible for calling the defense, and the Vikings defense played very well in a close loss to the Dallas Cowboys on a Thursday night.
Yeah, it’s still Zimmer’s defense, but Edwards is going to be a bigger loss than people realize, and with the offensive coordinator also leaving and the defensive side of the ball probably undergoing a significant player turnover, things are going to be different next year, and not having Edwards there is going to be a big deal.
So now the Vikings will be looking for an offensive and defensive coordinator in the coming months, and these are the first of what will probably be several more changes among the staff. If you’re looking at in-house candidates already on staff, DL coach Andre Patterson could be a name to keep in mind. Patterson has taken the Vikings defensive line and helped mold it into one of the best units in the NFL. Adam Zimmer, Mike Zimmer’s son and current Linebackers coach, could also be considered, for no other reason than I think it would be hilarious that the Vikings OC and DC are the sons of the head coach and assistant head coach and no, nepotism isn’t a thing in the NFL.
So stick around for all the off-season news, now that the NFL season is over and no more teams are playing any games.