Vikings coaching staff assembling in secrecy?

Mike Zimmer (Hannah Foslien/Getty)

The Vikings haven't announced any coordinator or position coaching hires under new head coach Mike Zimmer, but much of the staff appears to be coming together, including the three coordinators and several position coaches, from talks and observations down at the Senior Bowl.

The Vikings' coaching staff is still some parts mystery, but details of it are starting to come together from national reports and information gathered at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., this week.

Without confirmation from the team on any decisions made by head coach Mike Zimmer, here are the pieces we know and what we've been told to date.

  • By all national reporting accounts, Zimmer has hired Norv Turner as his offensive coordinator and George Edwards as his defensive coordinator. With Turner, history points to a few things: 1) He likes the vertical passing game and power running game; 2) He is solid with finding the young talent on the roster and exploiting it; 3) He is considered a good quarterback mentor and has head coaching experience that Zimmer does not.

  • The only other coordinator left to hire is with special teams, but that one might already be in place. All of the assistants for the Vikings are under contract for 2014, but some will obviously be leaving. Although nothing is official, special teams coordinator Mike Priefer could be staying. The Vikings are in the middle of an ongoing investigation into accusations by punter Chris Kluwe that Priefer made homophobic remarks to Kluwe and others. It's a charge that Priefer "vehemently" denied in a statement and others who allegedly would have heard those comments, like kicker Blair Walsh, also deny.

    Indications are that Priefer could be cleared of those charges, and he is apparently still involved in the process of talent evaluation. One prospect at the Senior Bowl, Florida State linebacker Christian Jones, said the Vikings' special teams coordinator was part of an interview he had with two Vikings coaches Monday night. Asked specifically if that was Priefer, Jones said yes.

  • So with the coordinators apparently in place, at least for now, where does that leave the position coaches? The story is different there.

    Many of the coaches weren't around Winter Park last week when Zimmer was hired and it doesn't sound like they were communicating in-depth with him about their status either. One of the position coaches that was heading to Mobile this week said he was coming without knowing if he was supposed to scout for the Vikings or not, but was hoping to talk with Zimmer about his status here this week.

    Other positions coaches, like offensive line coach Jeff Davidson, have been seen scouting players at their position as they normally would.

    Another position coach, issued a "no comment – a strong no comment" when asked about his status.

  • What about any new coaches added to the staff? Adam Zimmer, Mike's son, said last week that he would likely join the staff coaching either linebackers or defensive backs.

    And Scott Turner, son of Norv Turner, has been interviewing quarterback prospects at the Senior Bowl, according to the Star Tribune.

  • The final question is where that leaves coaches that were had responsibilities now given to new hires? Bill Musgrave, the offensive coordinator since 2011, will become the quarterbacks coach with the Philadelphia Eagles, according to FOX Sports.

    The status of former defensive coordinator Alan Williams isn't known at this point, but it's likely either back to coaching defensive backs (which he did with the Indianapolis Colts before joining the Vikings) or more likely looking for work with another team.

    Former linebackers coach Mike Singletary said Tuesday that he told former head coach Leslie Frazier before the 2013 began that this would be his final season as a position coach. He said he has had talks with three other NFL teams so far at the Senior Bowl but he wasn't interested in being a position coach any longer. He also said coaching in the college ranks wasn't something he had seriously considered yet.

    The only clear conclusion from talks down in Mobile is that most coaches have been told not to discuss their status at this point, but it would appear the staff is starting to come together.


    Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.
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