UPDATE: The Vikings announced on Saturday afternoon that they had completed their interview with Graham.
Just when it appeared that the Minnesota Vikings might have been done interviewing candidates to succeed Mike Zimmer as the team’s head coach, a new name has emerged in the search.
Numerous sources are reporting that the Vikings have requested an interview with New York Giants’ defensive coordinator Patrick Graham for their head coaching vacancy.
Given that the Giants have been relatively terrible in recent years, it might be strange to see one of their coaches getting an opportunity to become the head coach of another NFL team. However, Graham has done some pretty incredible things with some Giants’ defenses that have been short on talent over the past couple of seasons. According to Greg Bishop of Sports Illustrated, some of Graham’s players have dubbed him the “Black Picasso” because of the defensive game plans he puts together and his players genuinely seem to love playing for him.
Graham had a number of jobs in the college ranks before getting into the NFL with the New England Patriots in 2009 as a coaching assistant. He was with the Patriots in various roles, including linebackers coach and defensive line coach, until 2015 when he moved on to his first stint with the Giants as their defensive line coach. After two years there, he went to Green Bay as their linebackers coach and run game coordinator in 2018, and followed that up by joining the Miami Dolphins’ staff as their defensive coordinator in 2019. After just one year in Miami, he joined Joe Judge’s staff in New York, where he has been the DC for the past two seasons.
Graham is the ninth person that the Vikings have interviewed for the head coaching spot, and the first they’ve sat down with since the hiring of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah as the team’s new General Manager earlier this week. There have not been any candidates that have gotten a second interview, though at least a couple of them are participating in the NFC Championship Game this weekend. One of the Vikings’ candidates, Nathaniel Hackett, was hired by the Denver Broncos to be their head coach, and another candidate, Dallas Cowboys’ defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, declared that he was returning to Dallas.
Any thoughts on Patrick Graham potentially becoming the tenth head coach in the history of the Minnesota Vikings, folks?