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Monday Morning Mailbag: Options at Offensive Coordinator, NFL Coaching Rules and Looking Ahead to the Vikings 60th Season

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Kevin Stefanski was hired as the Browns new head coach, and I wish him all the success in the world (except when he plays the Vikings)! For the sake of continuity and considering the fact that Coach Zimmer made the comment that adding Gary Kubiak to his staff is the best thing that's happened in his coaching career, it seems like a very natural fit for Gary to take over as the OC. In fact, when he was hired for his current position, I hoped he would take Kevin's place when Kevin was inevitably hired as a head coach. Will the Vikings go through a formal hiring process with multiple interviewees or will Kubiak slide into the OC position right away to allow our team to start preparing for the offseason immediately?

— Brian Smit in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

There is certainly a chance that Gary Kubiak is the Vikings next OC. In his season-ending press conference last Monday, Zimmer said he and Kubiak "talked about [replacing Stefanski] a little bit." Zimmer opted to keep the conversation private.

Perhaps the conversation included determining whether Kubiak would want the tasks that come with the offensive coordinator gig. Kubiak mentioned more than once in his first season in Minnesota that he enjoyed his job as the team's Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Advisor and operating away from the spotlight. Kubiak didn't have to meet with the media a ton, and deflected credit to Stefanski and the players.

Zimmer did mention wanting to have continuity on offense, so perhaps an internal candidate gets the OC job. If that's the case, and Gary Kubiak isn't the guy, perhaps the role goes to either Offensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator Rick Dennison or quarterbacks coach Klint Kubiak.

Klint Kubiak knows the system well, and also knows Kirk Cousins. Dennison is also well-versed in the scheme, as he and Gary Kubiak have now worked together for a total of 16 seasons.

Zimmer gave his coaches last week off, so everyone is back in the building this week. Perhaps now the wheels get rolling. But whether or not the Vikings next OC is in the building already or not, you can bet that Zimmer will do his due diligence and look at all of his options for that role.

I unfortunately didn't get to watch the game against the 49ers because I was at work. Seeing that we only scored 10 points and our offensive coordinator was busy getting ready for a head coaching interview, shouldn't the NFL make changes to the hiring process for coaches? Shouldn't our OC be worrying about the 49ers instead of getting ready for an interview? Like I said I didn't get to watch the game but the OC must have been able to be better I would imagine

— Robbie in Manitoba, Canada

Thanks for the question, Robbie. Those are the rules the NFL has in place, and I doubt they affect how a team does in the ensuing weeks. Yes, the Vikings lost in the game following Stefanski's interview with Cleveland. But give some credit to the 49ers for how they played in that game.

In fact, 49ers Defensive Coordinator Robert Saleh also interviewed for the Browns job, and his unit did just fine. Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieneimy interviewed for jobs, and his team promptly hung 51 points in less than three quarters of work against the Texans.

I understand your frustration here with the current rules. But the NFL hasn't indicated they will be changed soon, and teams have shown that they can win even with a coach on staff interviewing elsewhere.

It does not appear that the team got together to discuss and watch the tape of the 49ers playoff game. Why would they do that after every game and not the game that eliminated them from the playoffs?

Also, the team had to be aware of the OC and DC leaving. I would think all of those changes could be handled after the Super Bowl. It surely would have been nice for the players to not have had that knowledge while they were preparing and playing the game.

I really love our coaches and players and hope to see many of them back this coming preseason.

— Rose in St. Paul

Hi Rose, thanks for your email. You are likely referring to Sunday, the day after the Vikings lost to the 49ers. While there was a quick team meeting, it wasn't a typical day-after-game breakdown.

Part of that reason was that the season was over, and there wasn't an immediacy in reviewing the film to make corrections. Players also had to do exit interviews, and they usually want to get away when the season is complete so they can relax and refresh.

As for the OC and DC vacancies, I don't think that played a role in the loss as I mentioned above. As Zimmer put it Monday, the Vikings simply "ran into a buzz saw" in the 49ers.

View the top photos of Vikings S Anthony Harris from the 2019 season.

What are the chances that we could snag Thaddeus Moss in the draft? ... Looks like he loves purple already.

— Nicholas Balkou

For those of you who missed it, Thaddeus is the son of Vikings Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss. The LSU tight end helped the Tigers win a national title on Monday, and declared for the 2020 NFL Draft a few days later.

It would be cool to see another Moss in Purple and Gold, right? Randy certainly did some big things in those colors with the Vikings.

Minnesota does have a solid group of tight ends already in Kyle Rudolph, Irv Smith, Jr., and Tyler Conklin. David Morgan is also hoping to return in 2020 after missing the entire season with a knee injury.

Perhaps the Vikings add another Moss to the roster, but they also might feel set at tight end going into the draft.

The Vikings 60th season is coming up soon. Can we expect some throwback jerseys and new players in the Vikings Ring of Honor?

— Jake from Hampton, Illinois

Hi Jake … there likely will be a new member of the Vikings Ring of Honor, as at least one player or coach has been inducted each season since 2017. The Vikings usually announce that in the summer, so we have a bit of a wait before that player is unveiled.

We don't yet know of any decisions on uniforms. You should know that we will have plenty of great historical throwback content on Vikings.com, and have already began kicking around some ideas on how we can deliver that to the fans with such a historic milestone on the horizon.

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