Minnesota Vikings outside linebackers coach and pass rush specialist Mike Smith is taking a personal leave of absence, per Alec Lewis.
Vikings OLB coach/pass rush specialist Mike Smith is taking a personal leave of absence. Mike Pettine will be filling role in meantime alongside Imarjaye Albury, who is highly respected inside the building.— Alec Lewis (@alec_lewis) September 4, 2023
Smith joined head coach Kevin O’Connell’s staff in 2022, shortly after Mike Pettine was named assistant head coach. Mike has over 30 years of coaching experience, having previously coached for the Green Bay Packers and the New York Jets. Under Smith’s tutelage, OLBs Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith had highly productive seasons, combining for 20.5 sacks. Mike was also an influential figure who helped recruit Za’Darius Smith to Minnesota.
Assistant head coach Mike Pettine and defensive assistant Imarjaye Albury will split coaching duties until Mike Smith returns. Pettine is more than qualified for the role, also boasting over 30 years of coaching experience. Most prominently, Pettine was the head coach of the Cleveland Browns from 2014-2015. He also served as defensive coordinator for the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, and the Green Bay Packers.
As for Imarjaye Albury, he’s a guy who is highly respected in the building. He will now have the opportunity to show that he’s capable of taking on more responsibility. Don’t be surprised if Albury moves up the coaching ranks in the near future.