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Monday Morning Mailbag: DeFilippo's Approach, Plan on Offense

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We have watched our offense shift in philosophy from Norv Turner to Pat Shurmur and now to John DeFilippo. Believing that Coach Zimmer retains some of the best of each, what kind of offense can we expect to see next year and how will the new coaches (DeFilippo and Todd Downing) impact that? -- Curt Gast

Some characteristics I expect from the Vikings offense next season include balance, physicality and explosiveness. These are not novel concepts, but they are concepts that transcend both subtle and major differences in offensive scheme and play design. The most interesting dynamic related to the addition of DeFilippo as offensive coordinator is his ability to blend his own philosophies and ideas with what already works for the Vikings. DeFilippo is not taking over a broken offense, but he does have the talent and ingenuity to improve the Vikings offense in 2018. It will be a fun process to watch unfold.

It sure seems that with the coaches the Vikings brought in this offseason that they have done everything they can to help have a successful quarterback, whoever it may be. The question is whether this is for the development of a draftee or creating a successful system for a free agent? -- Kerry Watkins

A franchise can have the coaches and resources in place to be both an attractive destination for an established player to join as well as a healthy environment for a rookie to come in and develop. With the trio of offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, senior offensive assistant Todd Downing and quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski, the Vikings are well suited to do both. DeFilippo and Downing have both worked with Derek Carr and DeFilippo was instrumental in the development of Carson Wentz, as well. Stefanski has been a key to the Vikings success with three quarterbacks in the last three years – Teddy Bridgewater in 2015, Sam Bradford in 2016 and Case Keenum in 2017. Whether it be a veteran looking for a fresh start or a rookie looking to be developed, a quarterback should look at the situation in Minnesota and find it to be a very appealing spot.

If and when Delvin Cook becomes recognized as a top running back in the NFL, do the Vikings have enough diverse weapons to avoid and overcome the "eight in the box" scenario they faced with Adrian Peterson? -- Joe Warner

As of now, yes, and that group of players may only get better with free agency and the draft on the horizon. As big a part of this whole thing, though, is the play of the quarterback. You can have all the weapons at running back, tight end and wide receiver you want, but if you don't have a quarterback who can distribute the ball accurately and on time, then it doesn't matter. To me, the answer to this question will be based on what the Vikings wind up doing at quarterback this offseason.

Why did we move Mike Remmers from tackle to guard last year? -- Chris Kulak

My sense was the injury to Nick Easton was the biggest factor. When that happened, the Vikings had to decide how to fill that vacancy. They could've used one of the reserve guards on the roster or they could kick Remmers inside to guard and then use one of their reserve tackles in Remmers' spot. It all came down to which reserve they felt better about using, and at that time they felt better about using Rashod Hill. It will be interesting to see this offseason if Remmers stays at one of the guard spots and if Hill gets first crack at starting right tackle. That is a lineup that could make some sense for Remmers' benefit and, most importantly, the benefit of the entire offensive line.

Andrew Sendejo had a really good season in 2017. Do you think if a guy like Derwin James was still on the board at No. 30 that the Vikings would pick him up? -- Thomas Hicks

I don't know enough about James yet to have any kind of opinion on him. That's why we're going to the Combine this week! Don't forget to check out our coverage of the Combine all week right here on But in theory I would say the Vikings will not shy away from taking a player at any position even if a starter is already there, assuming that the player is worthy of being selected in that spot when the Vikings are on the clock.

What will be the status of the kicker position next year? -- Mike Carpenter

Kai Forbath is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on March 14, so as of right now the Vikings don't have a place kicker under contract for 2018. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Vikings re-sign Forbath and then also acquire a second kicker via free agency, the draft or undrafted free agency. This would not be an indictment on Forbath, it's just that the offseason is the perfect time to stage this kind of competition because the roster limits goes up to 90 players until the end of the preseason.

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