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Monday Morning Mailbag: Impact of the DeFilippo Hire

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Just wondering about your thoughts on the Vikings hiring John DeFilippo as offensive coordinator. Also, do you know what kind of quarterback he prefers? -- David Roller

I'm excited about the DeFilippo hiring. He's young and seems to be energetic out on the field and on the sidelines. He's been a rising star in the coaching profession and I'm sure he has ambition to be a head coach, so I like that he will approach his job in Minnesota with that as motivation. He's has experience with Sam Bradford and also with developing young quarterbacks; most notably, he's coached both Derek Carr and Carson Wentz. He's coming off a Super Bowl-winning season, so he's been to the mountain top and should command respect from the players. There is a lot to like with DeFilippo. I'm guessing he'll bring fresh ideas but he'll also look to continue doing well what the offense did well last season. One of my favorite stats tied to DeFilippo is that the Cleveland Browns recorded their first season with at least 4,000 passing yards and 1,500 rushing yards since 1986 with DeFilippo as offensive coordinator, so obviously he knows how to maximize talent.

It wouldn't surprise me if one reason Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman hired DeFilippo was to help self-scout the Vikings defense. As part of the offense that was the only team to make the Vikings defense look ordinary and with the New England Patriots unable to stop Nick Foles, what better way to improve both the offense and the defense? -- Gary Hansen Yorktown, VA

That is a nice byproduct of the DeFilippo hire but I do not believe it was a primary reason behind the Vikings interest. DeFilippo has been an offensive coordinator previously and he's been considered a rising star in the coaching ranks for a few seasons. DeFilippo has also worked with Bradford in the past and he has significant experience in developing young quarterbacks, so I'm sure that caught the Vikings eye when they were scanning the market for good fits with potential personnel here in 2018.

What I heard from DeFilippo's press conference sounds really good. Did you hear anything that may have indicated where the Vikings are leaning as far as quarterback(s) go? -- Bruce Blanton

No. I'm sure DeFilippo has an opinion on the matter and I'm equally as sure the Vikings have developed a plan by now of how they will approach the quarterback situation this offseason. But I don't think DeFilippo tipped his hand or the team's hand during his introductory conference call with reporters.

Which players do you anticipate will receive long-term extensions this offseason and what are some underrated needs to address? -- Thomas Holmes Minneapolis, MN

We don't know yet which players the Vikings view as priority re-signings, but it would stand to reason that Anthony Barr, Stefon Diggs, Danielle Hunter, Eric Kendricks and Trae Waynes are at or near the top of the list. They've all been productive during their rookie contracts and they all would start for most teams in the League. In terms of underrated positions to address, it wouldn't surprise me to see the Vikings use significant resources to fortify the following positions: linebacker, running back and tight end.

Do you think that next season the Vikings will have more defined positions at strong safety and free safety or do you believe they'll try to keep them as interchangeable players? -- Derek Stiles

I'm guessing they'll try to keep the positions as interchangeable as they can. This increases the pool of players available when it comes to free agency and the draft, it makes you less predictable pre-snap and with play calling and it makes it easier to withstand an injury.

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