I have to first tell you that the title of this post came from a comment left by Titus on the Vikings.com blog. When I was reading the comments, I came across his and I laughed loudly. Because let’s face it, aside from Mike Singletary, the Vikings haven’t added anyone too spectacular to the coaching staff today.
Let’s break it down together.
Bill Musgrave - OC Genius or Uh Oh?
Long-time Minnesota Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell was replaced today by Bill Musgrave. Don’t worry about Bevell… he’s on his way to work with Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks. Who the heck is Bill Musgrave?
He released this statement after accepting the offer: “The organization is first class all the way and Leslie Frazier is first class all the way. The players on the offensive side of the ball are very attractive to be associated with. I’m looking forward to utilizing their strengths to get fantastic results. The offensive weapons on this squad are impressive. We as a staff will look forward to utilizing each and every one of them to attack defenses. I first met Leslie about 10 years ago when he was in Philadelphia and we’ve stayed in touch over the years. I look forward to working with him here and moving forward.”
Gee… that’s an awesome statement! But before you get all excited about a new powerhouse offense, let’s consider some history. Musgrave’s first stint as OC was after being promoted from Quarterbacks Coach to OC by the Carolina Panthers in 2000. He lasted exactly 4 games before resigning. Musgrave spent the next 2 years at the University of Virginia, where he was very involved in developing Matt Schaub.
In 2003, Musgrave returned to the NFL as the OC for the Jacksonville Jaguars. After 2 seasons, he was “released”, which is apparently a kind way to say “fired”. His next NFL job was as the Quarterbacks Coach for the Washington Redskins, where he lasted for one season before heading to the Atlanta Falcons in the same role. In 2009, Musgrave was promoted to Assistant Head Coach/Quarterbacks Coach.
And now he’s the Offensive Coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings, having not been an OC since 2005. Oh yes, folks, we are on the edge of a dynasty! Honestly, I am going to give the guy a chance. Maybe he’s learned a thing or two in the last few years and will surprise us all. Maybe he will make Darrell Bevell look like a play-calling genius. We’ll find out in August.
Fred Pagac: Mastermind of the Blitzing Vikings vs the Eagles or a One Hit Wonder?
The Vikings also named Fred Pagac to the Defensive Coordinator role today. He had this to say about his new position within the Vikings’ organization: “I’m very excited for the opportunity and I think we can get on the right track quickly. I’m excited about our players and staff and think that keeping continuity is very important. It helps everyone involved, the players and coaches both. The players know us, what our expectations are and we have a staff that works well together.”
Pagac has been a defensive coach with the Vikings since 2006. When Leslie Frazier was elevated to Interim Head Coach after the Wilfs divested themselves of Chilly, Pagac was named interim Defensive Coordinator. The defense seemed to come alive after Chilly left the building. I don’t know if that’s attributable to Chilly’s actual departure or if they were responding to Pagac’s coaching. I do know the defense was impressive against the Eagles and whomever put that plan together should be running the defense every week. Let’s hope that’s Fred.
Other coaches announced today were Mike Singletary as the Linebackers Coach/Special Assistant to the Head Coach. Singletary released this statement: “The organization is first class all the way and Leslie Frazier is first class all the way. The players on the offensive side of the ball are very attractive to be associated with. I’m looking forward to utilizing their strengths to get fantastic results. The offensive weapons on this squad are impressive. We as a staff will look forward to utilizing each and every one of them to attack defenses. I first met Leslie about 10 years ago when he was in Philadelphia and we’ve stayed in touch over the years. I look forward to working with him here and moving forward.”
Mike Priefer: Special Teams Coordinator
The Vikings also filled the Special Teams Coordinator position with Mike Priefer, who said this about joining the Vikings: “I’m honored to come to the Minnesota Vikings organization and to work with Coach Frazier. I’m excited to work with the rest of the coaching staff, players and the entire organization. It is a great opportunity for me and I know my family is excited about getting up there and I’m ready to help us win a championship.”
So, Vikings Nation, those are our newest coaches. Will they bring us a championship or will they complete the desiccation of our beloved Purple People Eaters that was started by Childress? I guess we’ll wait and see.