Coaching Notes: Vikings, Fins, Bills, Broncos

When Mike Zimmer signed a Vikings extension in the 2016 offseason, the terms were not disclosed. But the sixth-year Minnesota coach revealed Thursday 2019 is the final year of his contract. While another extension could be on the way, Zimmer is, as of now, a lame-duck leader. The 62-year-old coach said he would not resign nor retire until his contract was up. It’s not unheard of for a coach to venture through a contract year, but it is obviously abnormal. The Vikings have qualified for the playoffs twice in Zimmer’s five years but were one of this season’s most disappointing teams, falling short of January football despite a roster full of extended veterans.

Here is the latest from the coaching circuit:

  • Elsewhere on the Vikings’ staff, the team is working to re-sign special teams coordinator Mike Preifer, Alex Marvez of Sirius XM Radio reports (on Twitter). Minnesota is, however, exploring alternatives in case a re-up is not finalized. Preifer has been Minnesota’s ST coordinator since 2011. Preifer did not sign the rollover option after last season, per ESPN.com’s Courtney Cronin (Twitter link), making him a coaching free agent next week.
  • Brian Flores is set to meet with four teams in the coming days, and the Patriots linebackers coach’s first stop appears to be Miami. The Dolphins are making Flores their first interview, which Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald tweets will begin Thursday night and last into Friday. Flores is slated to meet with the Browns, Broncos and Packers as well.
  • Another coach up for the Broncos‘ job, Zac Taylor is not the favorite going into the interview process, Troy Renck of Denver7 tweets. That could be expected of a 35-year-old position coach, and it could indicate the Broncos are serious about bringing Gary Kubiak back to the sideline as their OC. John Elway said a coaching role for Kubiak was being considered. A Taylor hire would seemingly impede this, but former Broncos running back C.J. Anderson said the similarities between the Rams’ offense and Kubiak’s Denver attack helped him assimilate quickly in Los Angeles. Mike Klis of 9News wonders if this could make a Taylor-Kubiak setup possible, with Klint Kubiak moving up to quarterbacks coach.
  • Flores’ Broncos interview will occur Monday. So will Vic Fangio‘s, per ESPN.com’s Jeff Legwold. Taylor and Mike Munchak will interview for the job on Friday. The Broncos finished their Chuck Pagano meeting Wednesday.
  • The Bills are moving on from two assistants, including special teams coordinator Danny Crossman, per ESPN.com’s Mike Rodak (on Twitter). As ESPN’s Seth Walder notes (via Twitter), Buffalo finished this season with the NFL’s worst special teams efficiency rating. Buffalo also fired wide receivers coach Terry Robiskie, MarvezĀ tweets. Twice an interim head coach, with the Redskins and Browns, Robiskie just completed his 37th season as an NFL coach. He’s been a wideouts coach for five teams; Crossman was a pre-Sean McDermott-era holdover, joining the Bills’ staff as ST coordinator in 2013.
  • Detroit will move on from another offensive assistant, firing Derius Swinton, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (on Twitter). Just 33, Swinton has already been an NFL assistant for 10 seasons, serving as the 49ers’ ST coordinator in 2016. Although he helped in that area in Detroit following Joe Marciano‘s midseason firing, his primary role was on offense. The Lions and OC Jim Bob Cooter parted ways this week. Despite serving under Cooter, Swinton was a Matt Patricia hire.
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One comment on “Coaching Notes: Vikings, Fins, Bills, Broncos

  1. Mike Bridges

    Coach Zimmer is good for Minnesota. He is along the lines of Coach Grant (Coach Grant had his difficult seasons as well…even returned a 2nd time). The Vikings had a lot of injuries and, that caused a slip on the Defense. That OL must be addressed this offseason, it (As well as Cousins) cannot survive on bad, old retreads. It’s past time to surround the Centre (who will be completely healthy going in the new season) with young studs, that will be around awhile. What a WORLD a difference a good, young OL would make, in the success of the Offense. Cook and Murray would run wild and free AND, Thielen and Diggs would have time to get vertical more often. Even Rudolph’s game would get better (if he’s still a Viking, which I hope is the case). The Offense NEEDS a better OL! Cousins had a good year, I mean he threw for over 4,000 again but, he’s unfairly catching grief. The Defense wasn’t up to snuff and, the OL struggled. Even Thielen got into a slump a bit, mid-season and that could have been why he and Cousins got a bit miffed with 1 another BUT, the Vikings certainly aren’t in dire straits however, a couple of things need addressed. I believe Barr will be traded….for Picks so, that will take place during or, before the Draft. Frankly, he wants more then he’s worth (earned) now. Kendricks is the man at LB now. As I said, I hope Rudolph stays but, he could be traded for a Pick, or 2 himself. Another guy on Defense that struggled (not just with injuries….again) is, Rhodes and, I’ve read articles stating that he just might be traded as well…for Picks. There will be changes on the Roster….with starters….and, with the Picks the Vikings already have and, will have….they must FIRST re-freaking-build that OL! At some point, the practice of putting broken players…nearing 30, or close to it…or, Pro Bowl players past their “fresh” date on the OL, must stop. I keep blathering on about Dallas, on other Boards, and how their Offensive production turned a 180 and, when that OL was brand new, talented and hungry the Offense roared like a powerful muscle car! They could block for the Run and, Pass equally well and, Murray had a career year one season, just prior to his release! Speilman has to see the importance of having strong Lines…Offense AND Defense…in winning. In CFB, the 2 that played for the NC, had strong OLs and, DLs….especially Clemson. Clemson was getting loads of pressure on Tua with 4 guys on the DL…there was no need for loads of Blitzes and, that allowed LBs to do what the best ones do well….fill gaps, stopping the Run and, dropping for depth, creating havoc in the Passing game! Their OL blocked well for Lawrence, giving him the time (sometimes, the exact amount of time, before getting hit) to hit big passes and, they helped break big runs. Imagine the season Cousins and, his weapons can have with such an OL! Coach needs that OL to get better…much better…to ensure better production on Offense, ensuring he has a longer tenure with the Vikings! He also needs his Defense to regain it’s production and reputation!

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