The defensive backfield for the Minnesota Vikings in 2020 featured a lot of young players, most notably draft picks Jeff Gladney and Cameron Dantzler. The secondary saw a significant improvement over the course of the season, led by those two players, and the man that played a significant role in that might be departing after just one season in purple.
Louisiana State Univerisity has announced that they will be interviewing Vikings’ defensive backs coach Daronte Jones for their open defensive coordinator position.
A Louisiana native, Jones came to Minnesota this past season after spending two seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals as their defensive backs coach. Prior to that, he was with the Miami Dolphins as an assistant. He also has extensive experience in the college ranks, having coached at Wisconsin, Hawai’i, and Boise State, as well as in the Canadian Football League.
As we mentioned, the Vikings’ secondary got off to a rough start this year, having to deal with personnel changes and injuries throughout the season. But things did get better on the back end for the Vikings as the season progressed, which is pretty remarkable given that they received just about no help from a pass rush that was almost completely absent in 2020.
With as many young players as the Vikings have in the defensive backfield, one would think it would be a significant blow to the defense if the team lost its defensive backs coach after just one season. Obviously, this is a huge opportunity for Daronte Jones, but at the risk of sounding a bit selfish, I’d like to see him get another season to work with Gladney, Dantzler, and the half a dozen other defensive backs that the Vikings will draft this coming April.
(Tell me I’m wrong.)
At this point, I’m not sure how many other candidates LSU has interviewed for this position, but this could leave the Vikings with a third hole on the coaching staff. They already have openings at offensive coordinator and special teams coordinator to deal with.