The Vikings have hired a replacement for Derek Mason in Matt Sheldon, who will assist defensive backs coach Joe Woods. Mason had taken a job at Stanford.
Sheldon has been an assistant coach with the Buffalo Bills and St. Louis Rams and is a 10-year NFL veteran as an assistant coach. He played his college football in the Twin Cities as a member of the Minnesota Golden Gophers, where he was a defensive back.
Originally hired by Dick Jauron, he spent the past four seasons (2006-09) coaching linebackers with the Buffalo Bills. With defensive coordinator and interim head coach Perry Fewell this past season, he also ran a version of the Cover-2 defense the Vikings often deploy under defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. The Bills ranked No. 2 in the NFL in passing defense last season and middle linebacker Paul Posluszny was one of Sheldon's prize pupils.
Prior to his stint in Buffalo, Sheldon spent 2001-05 with the St. Louis Rams on the staff of Mike Martz, where he assisted on special teams and with the secondary and linebackers on defense.
Before joining the staff at St. Louis, Sheldon served as a defensive graduate assistant at the University of Wisconsin (1997-99) with the defensive secondary. Wisconsin's defense led the nation in 1998 and the Badgers were the first team in Big Ten history to win Rose Bowls in consecutive seasons (1998-99).
Sheldon played defensive back for the Gophers after going to high school at D.C. Everest in Schofield, Wisconsin.