2012 figures to be a “fresh start” kind of season for the Minnesota Vikings. There are a few new faces on the coaching staff this year and few familiar faces with new roles. Let’s take a look at the updated roles on the Defensive Coaching Staff in 2012:
Special Assistant: Mike Singletary
No one really knew what was going to become of Singletary in 2012. Last year he coached the linebackers and many thought he would get fired with Alan Williams taking the Coordinator position, but in a surprise twist, Singletary has been promoted, sort of.
I like the idea of Mike Singletary being a special assistant to Leslie Frazier. They apparently are buddies and it seems that Frazier is building a staff of guys he can trust. With Singletary being his “right-hand man,” trust is what he will get. You can say what you want about Singletary, but I don’t think you can question his heart and dedication to football. Being an assistant is a great role for him because it removes the pressure of being the head guy and allows him to focus on motivating players, which is his strong suite.
Defensive Coordinator: Alan Williams
Williams and Leslie Frazier are also buddies from their days together in Indianapolis. You can learn all about Alan Williams by clicking here.
Linebackers Coach: Fred Pagac
When I heard the Vikings had offered Pagac a chance to stay on the staff as the linebackers coach, I thought there was no way he was going to take it. It’s just something that doesn’t happen very often in professional sports these days. Is Pagac staying on the staff a positive for the Vikings? I say absolutely it is. A young coordinator like Williams is going to need all the guidance he can get, and what better man to do it than the one who was just there last year. The Vikings clearly like Pagac and he clearly likes them, certainly not a bad thing.
Defensive Line Coach: Brendan Daly
Daly returns to the Vikings for the first time since 2008, when he was a defensive assistant. He has spent the last 3 seasons as defensive line coach with the St. Louis Rams. Again you see the theme of familiar, trust-worthy coaches being brought back to the staff.
According to the Star Tribune, Joe Woods will remain defensive backs coach, while Jeff Imamura will go from assistant to linebackers coach, with Pagac.
For those critical that the Vikings decided to stay with the ‘Tampa 2′ scheme, you have to realize that is the horse the Vikings are riding right now with Leslie Frazier. He is the man right now and it’s foolish to not fully invest in what he wants to do. If you want to change the system, you change head coaches, and it’s too early to tell with Fraizer. Even in the “what have you done for me lately,” world of the NFL today, Frazier deserves at least one, if not two more years.
The Vikings have built a defensive staff of coaches educated in what they want to do. This is the right strategy to take if you’re sticking with Frazier. The Cover 2 will always be around in the NFL, because it’s a proven scheme. It’s a scheme that’s all about out executing the opponent. What’s the best way to out execute people? You out coach them.
Follow Andrew Fisher on Twitter @the_realfish