The Minnesota Vikings can’t officially kick off the Kevin O’Connell era until Monday, but there is a trio of names that have emerged in the race to be the team’s next defensive coordinator.
Two of those three coaches have some familiarity with the Vikings, with one of them being former Chicago Bears’ defensive coordinator Sean Desai. Desai was the Bears’ defensive coordinator this past season, and prior to that was the safeties coach in Chicago for a couple of seasons and a defensive quality control coach for six seasons prior to that. With a new regime coming in for our NFC North rivals, Desai is looking for work, and the Vikings reportedly interviewed him on Tuesday.
The Vikings have also interviewed someone from another divisional foe in Detroit Lions’ defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant. Pleasant has been in the NFL coaching ranks since 2013 when he was an offensive assistant with Washington. He was then a defensive quality control coach from 2014 to 2016, and then he moved on to be the Los Angeles Rams’ cornerbacks coach. Pleasant was with the Rams through the 2020 season, and moved on to Detroit in 2021.
The third coach that the Vikings have interviewed is Baltimore Ravens’ defensive line coach Anthony Weaver. Weaver was a second-round pick of the Ravens out of Notre Dame in 2002, and played for the Ravens for four seasons before finishing his playing career by playing three seasons with the Houston Texans. After a couple of years of college coaching, Weaver got into the NFL ranks in 2012 and coached the defensive lines with the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, and Cleveland Browns. Weaver then made his return to Houston in 2016, starting as the defensive line coach and eventually ascending to the defensive coordinator’s role in 2020 before going to Baltimore this past season as their defensive line coach.
The Vikings also, reportedly, reached out to Weaver’s old boss in Baltimore, Don “Wink” Martindale. Martindale had served as the Ravens’ defensive coordinator for the past four seasons, but ultimately decided to join the newly-hired Brian Daboll with the New York Giants instead.
The Vikings have undoubtedly asked Kevin O’Connell who he might be interested in bringing aboard as his defensive coordinator and are starting the feeling-out process before his hiring becomes official on Monday.
Any thoughts on who the Vikings should bring in as their new defensive coordinator, folks?