Tuesday, January 3, 2006


Today at Lions Tap in Eden Praire (home of the best burgers), the talk quickly turned to the Vikings. "Who do you like as head coach? You're the columnist."

It's true but it's not easy to pick the leader of your organization. One false move and you're down for three years. What a tough call.

About Tice, his departure was cold. Before he could tell his wife live, Tice was out. I even heard his son found out by receiving a press release with his Dad's name on it. Ouch. But the Vikings are not heartless: Mike Tice did have his farewell press conference. Seeing the Vikings backdrop, I can only assume the press conference I saw was from Vikings headquarters. I give the Vikings organization credit for that move. If I'm wrong, then shame on Zygi.

So far, only Tice is out. Defensive Coordinator Ted Cottrell is getting a look. It's a great job interview question: His best asset is his worst weakness: He knows this team. Wanting to turn the page, I would be surprised if the Vikings brass kept the man responsible for the Vikings second half resurgence. If they understand how far this defense has come in two short years full of turmoil, they'll keep Cottrell as DC and hire a new coach. After all, this defense is on the cusp of greatness. You don't have to look far in the division to see how far a good D will take you. After all, Chicago has a bye and it's not Kyle Orton's doing.

Directions to Consider

  • Defense

    Since this is a strength, I don't see a reason to go defensively minded. Of course, the new coach will inherit a club that went 7-2 down the stretch because of the D so it won't be a bad thing, I guess. I don't see a need here so I'll move on.

  • Offense

    One name that is interesting to me is ex-Rams coach Mike Martz. He left Saint Louis for mostly political reasons. His health is a question but try to find a coach who can sleep a full night's rest or if medically sound. The NFL is a thrasher harvesting men who love & live the game. Don't worry about Martz' health. With the D solidifying under Cottrell, the offense could use a little salsa. Let me tell you that Martz has more salsa than 2 Mexican restaurants. Seeing what he's done with Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, and Jamie Martin, you have to wonder what he could do with Daunte Culpepper or Brad Johnson (who are already good) and Nate Burleson, Travis Taylor, Troy Williamson, and Koren Robinson. Could be scary!

  • Discipline

    Another option is to find a coach who can be the disciplinarian. Since Bill Parcels is employed, he's out. Finding the right guy is a real challenge. There's a fine line between rule enforcer and dictator. I believe one reason Tice is out is because of the distractions. Dating back to Randy Moss' antics to the boat scandal, Mike did not seem to have a hold on this club. If the Vikings go for discipline, it will be fun to watch.

Almost Bit 'Em in the Behind

I heard that Tice was originally fired when the club dropped to 2-5 (when Carolina whipped Minnesota 13-38). He asked to finish out the season. It seems like a good idea. After all, your candidates are limited during week 9 of the NFL. But that decision almost cost Zygi & company. Imagine their increasing horror as Tice rolled off six straight wins and was closing in on a playoff spot! After last year's Wild Card round victory, the brass must have been fearful. How could they fire a coach who just went to his second straight playoffs. That would have been tough. Luckily, the Steelers and Ravens saved them from disaster by beating Minnesota. Once eliminated from playoff contention, I'm sure their minds were made up. But it was close.

But of course, there's no guarantee that the next coach will fare any better.


Bleed on,



Vikes fan in corn country said...

Don, nice article. Martz as Viking head coach, my first opinion is no, but you make a tempting argument. Allow me to ramble. It seems this Childress guy from Philly may be a good coach to get. Smart and respected. I agree, keep Cotrell as DC if he will stay (I have no idea if he would make a good head coach). I hope Studwell gets the player personal job, he seems to have done very well. I'll add one more morsel. This is probably not realistic, but I'd love to see it......bring in Mike Ditka to coach in the rollerdome. OK maybe not...
Although I bleed purple too, it looks good for us fans in 2006. Birk looks to be recovering well, he may well be MVP type guy, never get it, but look at 2005. Put Fonoti between Birk and Mount McKinnie, and run a cleaned up and ready to rock Onterrio behind them. Wooowhee. You've still got Mewelde too, he's pretty darn good. Pick up a right tackle or gaurd or both. Have Brad start the year at QB with Pep coming back (see the similarities with Cunningham taking over for Brad in '98?). They throw to Nate, Koren, and Troy. Give him Wiggens and a healthy Kleinsausser. Damn, looking good. The D stays solid - we have to keep Brian Williams. Add a safety? Keep the best punter in the league. Draft a kick / punt returner so Koren can just be a kick ass WR. Keep Edinger or bring in another stiff, it won't matter at this point. Vikes to the super bowl 2006 baby!!!!!

Don said...

I like your thoughts and can agree. I'm sure Mike can coach the rollerdomers and could clean up the 'dome. No punks with the intimidator around.
The D is a building block but kick/punt returnings are so hard to find!

Buck said...

only someone who writes for clanram would even think of Martz for head coach... maybe off. cord. would be perfect

Don said...

Are you kidding me? Who did you like as coach and I doubt you had the Eagles coordinator. We'll see how that works out.

Vikes fan in corn country said...


When I wrote that comment the news guys seemed like they thought Childress was the frontrunner, I didn't geuss it! Hope he can call plays - in my opinion play calling is second only to talent, but bad play calling kills talent. You gotta run, screen, and throw the ball anywhere at good times!! Watch the play calling in these next playoff games, it's a thing of beauty. Some of the previous Vikes games made me cry they were so predictable.... I ain't kidding, I could score pretty damn good at QB1 with the purple.
I'm excited about the new D coordinator. Let the young buck run with it!! Hope he has some nice twists of his own to work in.
One important piece still missing. Personal guy. Studwell seems to have done pretty well, its win win, either keep him or improve. Here's to getting some free agent talent that will start with what I think is a pretty darn good group of guys. Draft well and bingo we are still a talanted and deep team. Purple in '06!!!

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Scott said...



I love seeing vikes talk online. Glad we got a new coaching staff.

Come join Vikings Fanatics Online

Vikes fan in corn country said...


Where you at man?

WE need to hear what the Tark think. WE believe YOU have the pulse of the organization! Tark, please, with your connections / intuition -- lay the purple inside track preview of '06 on us!
Your opinion of Zig.
Vikes D.
Tailgating w/ Don and Bev.
Purple painties.
Sec 237.
Just DO IT!..... DO IT!