Photo - Harry How (Getty Images)
By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com
Minneapolis, MN - Mike Zimmer was hired as the head coach for the Minnesota Vikings on January 15th, 2014. Since then, 20 days have passed with nothing more than a rumor surrounding the rest of the Vikings coaching staff heading into next season. We think that Norv Turner will be the team's offensive coordinator. We've heard that George Edwards is a likely candidate to land the defensive coordinator spot. And it appears as if the team will be retaining Jeff Davidson and Mike Priefer from last year's squad. But still nothing has been confirmed (or denied) from the Vikings camp.
Rest assured Vikings fans, all of that may soon change. In fact, don't be surprised if we start to hear official announcements as early as tomorrow (Wednesday, February 5th).
It's been speculated that the hang up surrounding the official hiring of Norv Turner and the rest of Mike Zimmer's coaching staff could have something to do with the internal Priefer/Kluwe investigation that's currently funneling its way through the organization. Realistically, the hang up likely surrounds Wednesday's scheduled National Signing Day for college recruits and the NCAA.
All-in-all, the Vikings carried 23 coaches for the 2013 NFL season and as far as the Vikings have told us, outside of Leslie Frazier, that entire coaching staff from the 2013 season is still under contract with the team through 2014. Only, because of other news, we know that's not exactly the case anymore.
While the Vikings have stayed silent, confirmed reports have popped up referencing a handful of Minnesota Vikings coaches who have already accepted new jobs with other teams across the league. Using common sense, we can deduce that if they are accepting new jobs, they have been relieved of their duties and their old positions are currently vacant ...unofficially.
The Philadelphia Eagles have already confirmed that former offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave has been hired as their quarterbacks coach. The Detroit Lions have announced that former defensive coordinator Alan Williams will be the team's defensive backs coach for 2014. Defensive line coach Brendan Daly has been hired by the Patriots (defensive assistant coach), quarterbacks coach Craig Johnson was picked up by the Giants (running backs coach), Fred Pagac landed with the the Bills (linebackers coach), James Saxon jumped on board with the Steelers (running backs coach), Mike Singletary announced his intentions to step away from the Vikings, Joe Woods is the new Oakland Raiders defensive backs coach and other various coaches are surely exploring their options.
Just using the official announcements from the coaches above, the Vikings will have, at the very least, eight coaching positions to fill before next season. The aforementioned National Signing Day comes into play because the Vikings likely have selected a couple coaches from the college ranks to fill in some of the positional coaching and assistant coaching vacancies that exist. If these potential future coaches currently hold positions for college teams, their obligations for the college leads them right up to National Signing Day.
In the NCAA, many positional coaches and coordinators are leaned on heavily during the recruiting process. Different coaches may have developed relationships with certain players that have impacted a recruit's decision to attend or not attend a particular university. Hopefully using full disclosure for their future plans, these coaches can and are probably being used to seal the deal with the recruits before jumping ship and heading to their new job in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings.
It's remains unlikely that any of these college coaches will hold any high ranking coordinator positions under Zimmer, but position coaching roles are a good stepping stone to a coach looking to take the next step into the professional ranks.
Under this reasoning, it is safe to assume that Turner and Edwards are done deals. In fact, my sources have even confirmed Turner's already gone through the process of working with a realtor and finding a home in Minnesota. It's also safe to assume that current coaches like Jeff Davidson, Mike Priefer and George Stewart will be filling the roles they filled last season if not accepting expanded roles under the Mike Zimmer and the new coaching staff. And timing is of the essence.
With free agency and the draft right around the corner, it's important for the coaching staff to be finalized as soon as possible.
So, without further adieu, prepare to meet (officially) your new Minnesota Vikings coaching staff. It could be as early as Wednesday evening and almost certainly the end of this week.
Aj Mansour covers Minnesota Sports for KFAN.com. Feel free to leave comments and questions regarding this post in the space provided below. For Vikings updates and breaking Vikings news, follow Aj on Twitter. @AjKFAN