Vikings rumors: Slow defensive coordinator search has great reason behind it

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Kevin O'Connell, Minnesota Vikings. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Kevin O'Connell, Minnesota Vikings. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

There’s an interesting reason why the Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator search is taking such a long time.

The Minnesota Vikings‘ season ended much earlier than they had anticipated. Despite finishing the season as NFC North champions and earning 13 wins, their defense was picked apart by New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones in the Wild Card Round, and lost 31-24. Days after the loss, the Vikings opted to part ways with defensive coordinator Ed Donatell, as the team struggled mightily on that side of the line of scrimmage.

While the Vikings have interviewed just four candidates for their vacancy, they have not yet made a decision yet. As it turns out, there is a good reason as to why.

According to ESPN’s Kevin Seifert, the Vikings are waiting to see if they can secure an interview with Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero. The reason for the wait is because Evero is a head coaching candidate for the Arizona Cardinals and Indianapolis Colts.

Vikings reportedly have Ejiro Evero as top DC candidate

Both the Cardinals and Colts have yet to make an official decision on a hire, hence why the Vikings are waiting.

The Vikings have interviewed their assistant head coach Mike Pettine, former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, Seattle Seahawks associate head coach Sean Desai, and former New Orleans Saints co-defensive coordinator Ryan Neilsen for their defensive coordinator position. Flores is also a candidate for Arizona’s head coaching job. Neilsen accepted the Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator job.

Evero, as Seifert notes in the tweet above, was part of the Los Angeles Rams’ coaching staff alongside current Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell from 2020 until 2021. Evero was a safeties coach, safeties coach, and passing game coordinator, while the O’Connell was the offensive coordinator.

This past season, Evero oversaw the Broncos’ defense. While Denver’s offense performed poorly throughout the season, the defense shined with Evero as their coordinator. Denver allowed just 320.0 yards of offense per game (seventh fewest in NFL) and 21.1 points per game (tied-13th fewest).

Evero also interviewed for the Houston Texans, Carolina Panthers, and Broncos head coaching positions this offseason.

Based off this information, Minnesota is waiting to see if Evero ends up with one of the two remaining head coaching jobs in this cycle. If not, they will try to get an interview with him for their defensive coordinator opening.

Must Read. Is Brian Flores the answer for the Vikings at defensive coordinator?. light