Every year, The Athletic rolls out its "NFL 40 under 40" article that highlights "football's youngster power brokers who are changing the game on and off the field."
The Athletic's Lindsay Jones posted the 40 under 40 list Monday morning and included Vikings Offensive Coordinator Klint Kubiak under the Assistant Coaches section. Kubiak, who will turn 35 in February, is entering his first season in the role. Jones wrote:
Coaching trees are a fixture of the NFL, and Kubiak is, well, a literal one. He takes over as the Vikings offensive coordinator and play-caller following the retirement of his father, Gary Kubiak, who was so influential in the Shanahan style of West Coast offense that has taken over the NFL. This won't necessarily be an easy spot for Klint, who will be running the Vikings offense during a critical year for quarterback Kirk Cousins while also overseeing the development of rookie Kellen Mond.
Kubiak was the only current Vikings name on Jones' list, but other names will stand out.
View photos of the Vikings 2021 coaching staff.
Jones also pointed to Browns Head Coach Kevin Stefanski and Broncos Executive Director of Football Operations/Special Adviser to the GM Kelly Kleine. At just 30 years old, Kleine was hired by Broncos General Manager George Paton after his transition from longtime Assistant General Manager in Minnesota.
Kleine did a little bit of everything, from media relations to area scouting, in her nine years climbing the ranks inside the Minnesota Vikings front office. When the Broncos hired George Paton away from Minnesota earlier this year to be Denver's GM, he soon asked Kleine to join him. She is now the highest-ranking female football executive in Broncos history and will be involved in both pro personnel (evaluating free agents) and college scouting.
"She's a tremendous resource for our personnel department," Paton told Jones. "In just a short time with the Broncos, Kelly has made an immediate impact working with our scouting staff and various football support departments. Kelly's work ethic, organizational skills and ability to collaborate with so many different areas of football operations make her an invaluable part of our staff."
The Vikings will host the Browns at U.S. Bank Stadium in Week 4, welcoming Stefanski (39), who spent 14 seasons as an assistant in Minnesota before being hired by Cleveland after the 2019 campaign.
View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster as of Oct. 25, 2021.
CBS Sports spotlights Vikings Preseason 1 loss
Minnesota's first preseason game didn't go well, resulting in a 33-6 loss to the Broncos Saturday afternoon when the Vikings sat 31 players.
CBS Sports' Bryan DeArdo covered "NFL preseason Week 1 winners and losers," and he put Minnnesota in the latter category. DeArdo wrote:
[Vikings Head] Coach Mike Zimmer pretty much nailed his assessment of his team halfway through Saturday's 33-6 home loss to the Broncos. While he did receive a 100-yard rushing yard rushing effort from A.J. Rose, Jr., Zimmer's team allowed 33 points and nearly 400 yards, completed just 11 of [its] 26 pass attempts and were [0-for-3] in the red zone.
DeArdo referenced Zimmer's halftime comments to Greg Coleman:
"It was a very poor performance. We didn't tackle well. We made the wrong checks on defense with the safeties. We threw an interception for a touchdown. Go three-and-out on the first two series. Terrible punts. So, other than that, it's been great."