Vikings looking for a new offensive line coach

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The Vikings saw their season come to an end last Sunday and they’ve started making changes to their coaching staff.

During a Tuesday press conference, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said that he will be making changes to his staff after his second year on the job and announced that the first one would involve offensive line coach Jeff Davidson. Zimmer said that the team will not renew Davidson’s contract.

“I didn’t want to,” Zimmer said, via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press, when asked why Davidson’s deal wasn’t extended.

Davidson joined the Vikings in 2011 and remained on the staff after Zimmer replaced Leslie Frazier, but the unit had problems during the 2015 season. Teddy Bridgewater was pressured more often than any other quarterback, per ESPN Stats & Information, and was sacked 44 times. The Vikings were without a pair of starters in right tackle Phil Loadholt and center John Sullivan, although that wasn’t enough to convince the Vikes that status quo on the sideline would have the desired result.

66 responses to “Vikings looking for a new offensive line coach

  1. Huh, never even thought of the coaching aspect, but yeah, that O-line is our biggest weakness by far.

    Anyone Zimmer hires will automatically be better [than anyone Leslie hired].

  2. Pretty tough to overcome those two season starting injuries to two starters, but the O-line was the team’s weak link, and despite good health all year after those two starters went down, just didn’t improve.

    Another reason to love Zimmer is his blunt response to the question why he didn’t renew Davidson’s contract: “I didn’t want to”. Doesn’t trash the O-line coach but makes it clear he ain’t going into it further.

  3. Good. That was basically the only weakness of this team. You shore up the OL and get better coaching, Bridgewater should be much better with having more time.

    Having Sullivan and Loadholt back next season should help a ton, but if there is a better option at RT in free agency, get it. All I know is that if it weren’t for AD fumbling, and a miss by Walsh, this team pretty much dominated Seattle. Another year with this young team, same systems, and more experience, and this team is going deep next year.

    So enjoy you 1 extra game this year GB. Because you are definitely getting older and on the decline. Just like you saw the Vikes take the NFC North on your home turf this year, you will see it year after year.

    #MinnesotaoverGB
    #2015NFCNorthChamps
    #SkolVikings
    #NoPackNo

  4. This is not good for us Packer fans, seeing an opponent address an area of weakness. So, do we start making fun of Vikings’ O-lineman who died practicing now? It’s how we show our class here in Wisconsin.

  5. After two years of inherited players and coaches, Zimmer is now finally making a roster of his own. The next 5 years the Vikings will be dominating the North and continuing their playoff presence.

  6. So enjoy you 1 extra game this year GB. Because you are definitely getting older and on the decline. Just like you saw the Vikes take the NFC North on your home turf this year, you will see it year after year.
    ———-
    This is what makes you Viking clowns so laughable. The Packers are always one of the youngest teams and were the 5th youngest this year as well as younger than the Vikings team.

    It’s funny that you don’t mention losing in YOUR home to the Packers? I suppose you should be used to seeing it year after year by now though.

  7. Pretty sad that Zimmer makes the O-line starting 2 backup players the fall guy for the ineptitude on the line. Maybe he should fire Spielman as well for wasting a 1st round draft pick on that horrible LT.

    Loadholt was a walking penalty who sucked at pass blocking as well, so getting him back doesn’t really help either. Of course it would also help if Teddy could actually sidestep pressure, but it’s pretty clear that he can’t throw on the run or when he has to move, so that’s not going to change much.

  8. Good move. This is the beginning of a complete overhaul of the o-line that was their only major weakness. Zimmer wants a big, physical O-line and this is his way of wiping the slate clean.

  9. Big Packers fan here. Love Zimmer and the no-nonsense approach. A leader that doesn’t demand, rather commands respect. MM is great and all, but I’m jealous he’s not coachin my team.

  10. ad28bestever said:

    “All I know is that if it weren’t for AD fumbling, and a miss by Walsh, this team pretty much dominated Seattle.”

    Here are some facts: Total Passing Yards: Seattle 129 Minn 124

    Russhing yards: Seattle 97 Minn 58

    Fumbles Sea 2 (lost none) Minn 1 (lost 1)

    That’s not domination. That’s both teams struggling with the weather. No one dominated. One team gutted out a win and one team failed to execute at the biggest moment.

  11. Same Ol’ 1 and Done Vikes says:
    Jan 12, 2016 12:11 PM
    Pretty sad that Zimmer makes the O-line starting 2 backup players the fall guy for the ineptitude on the line. Maybe he should fire Spielman as well for wasting a 1st round draft pick on that horrible LT.

    Loadholt was a walking penalty who sucked at pass blocking as well, so getting him back doesn’t really help either. Of course it would also help if Teddy could actually sidestep pressure, but it’s pretty clear that he can’t throw on the run or when he has to move, so that’s not going to change much
    ———————————————–

    I watched every snap this year, and Teddy threw some of this best balls on the run. Please know what you’re talking about before posting…

  12. Not much scares me. But I do know things catch up to all of us. I’ll be watching.

  13. That OL had problems this year, but Teddy made them look worse than they are. When you can’t escape the pocket, go down whenever someone gets a hand on you, and throw a ball that comes out at the height of roughly 5 feet, you basically need 5 All-Pros to keep things together up front.

  14. While on the one hand, I understand the O-line was down two starters from the beginning of the season, it also become obvious as the season wore on that lack of talent wasn’t the only problem.

    The problem now is, what to do with each of these players. Kalil had a better year this year, but is nowhere near an elite LT. Fusco moved from RG to LG, and his performance dropped off. Berger did well considering he was signed as a backup. On the right side of the line, Harris looked okay, but that position can be upgraded, and Clemmings looked very much like a rookie. As a group, the line’s pass blocking fluctuated between mediocre and terrible.

    If the line is going to get upgraded, it needs Sullivan back at full strength, and at least two additions not currently on the roster. I’m not sure that can be done just through the draft.

  15. I watched every snap this year, and Teddy threw some of this best balls on the run. Please know what you’re talking about before posting…
    ———-
    I watched every game as well. And you are a blatant liar. Unless you are talking about a few 3 yard dump offs.

  16. That was a needed Move.
    And every fan of the opposing teams
    Minnesota plays next year, just said, “Oh Great”!
    Zimmer already looking forward to next year.
    Like he said, He is a FIXER.

  17. Zimmer knows football. Very excited to to him address our biggest issues asap. He’s going to build a big old school type line like they had in his old days in Dallas. Very encouraging.

  18. The offensive line has been abysmal each of the last two years, so I’m not said to see the OL coach go. He presided over Kalil degrading from a Pro Bowl rookie season to the worst left tackle in football last year. He bounced back this year but to the level necessary. I think Kalil is the primary reason for making this change. He clearly has talent but isn’t playing to the level he should be.

    That said, the line needs a serious influx of talent. Sully comes back next year and Berger can go back to being a super sub. Loadholt is gone. He makes too much money and he’s getting old. Spielman needs to spend some high draft picks on offensive linemen and they should invest in a quality offensive lineman in free agency.

  19. Hopefully ZimZam puts some pressure on Spielman to make a play for RG3. We need a QB that has an arm and athleticism if we want to take it to the next level. Teddy would be a competent backup for us, but he’s not the long term answer. That is pretty obvious.

  20. Davison seemed to be a moody guy, and I know he was grumpy after the Vikes blocked his move to some other team.

    It was easy to blame the o line’s struggles this year on injuries, but the line hasn’t played good in years.

    And some guys who seemed like can’t miss prospects (Kalil, obviously) have regressed over time.

    I hope the Vikes find someone good, they really need a miracle worker.

  21. Oh, and for what it’s worth, I watched every single snap that Jackson and Ponder took with the team, pre season and regular season, and Bridgewater does SO MUCH MORE than either of them. It doesn’t show in the stats, and all you stats people are going to be fooled, but Bridgewater is truly the real deal. He’s a clutch passer already and he’s getting better.

    Yes he is. Watch the games, not just the stat lines.

  22. @ad28 – Green Bay’s roster has an average age that is about 2 weeks older than Minnesota’s average. Packers started 3 rookies on D and a couple more played a bunch vs. Washington. But yeah, I guess all of them are getting older.
    Seems a bit odd to me that your RB wins the rushing title and then you let the OLine coach go, but I really don’t care, so fine.

  23. This is what makes you Viking clowns so laughable. The Packers are always one of the youngest teams and were the 5th youngest this year as well as younger than the Vikings team.

    It’s funny that you don’t mention losing in YOUR home to the Packers? I suppose you should be used to seeing it year after year by now though……………………………

    Yes, every year Diamond Ted makes sure he has a young team full of 6th round picks and prospects who seldom develop, angering their scouts while most of their stars are over 30.

    It’s also very funny that the Vikings beat the Packers in your house…For the Division Title…

  24. Watch Vikings fans react to loss videos. They will brighten your day. And make you fear for some of the women in the videos. They defiantly were getting beat later.

  25. rocketmcstonebreaker says:
    Jan 12, 2016 11:57 AM
    Zimmer will be the next head coach of the NE Patriots. Mark it down.

    Yeah, Adam Zimmer…

  26. bassplucker says:
    Jan 12, 2016 12:24 PM
    That OL had problems this year, but Teddy made them look worse than they are. When you can’t escape the pocket, go down whenever someone gets a hand on you, and throw a ball that comes out at the height of roughly 5 feet, you basically need 5 All-Pros to keep things together up front.
    ———————–
    This is a joke right? If it were not for Teddy’s ability to move and evade pressure, the Vikings would have given up a lot more sacks.

  27. Yes, every year Diamond Ted makes sure he has a young team full of 6th round picks and prospects who seldom develop, angering their scouts while most of their stars are over 30.

    It’s also very funny that the Vikings beat the Packers in your house…For the Division Title…
    ————–
    Yet they seem to have been in the playoffs 7 straight years(most in the NFL tied with the Patriots), won the division 4 of the last 5 and a Super Bowl championship. And they don’t do much in free agency.

    It clearly isn’t working for Diamond Ted, right? Perhaps he should go with what has worked amazingly well in Minnesota over the last 10 years instead?

    It’s also very funny that the Packers curb stomped the Vikings at home by 3 scores. So you split the series after getting swept for how many seasons.

    Just remember….you are 3-10-1 against the Packers. I won’t even get into championships.

  28. Same Ol’ 1 and Done Vikes | Jan 12, 2016, 9:19 AM PST
    Zimmer wants a big, physical O-line and this is his way of wiping the slate clean.
    ———-
    So he’s going to cut your 1st round LT and your 2nd round RT who are both garbage? When did he become the GM?
    ___________________

    I doubt he’ll cut either. Kalil will be in the final year of his rookie contract, so if he doesn’t continue to improve on this year, he may be let go next year. Loadholt is a complete unknown at this point, since he hasn’t played in almost 2 years, as is Sully with a bulky back.

    The Fusco experiment was a failure, got to move him back to RG. Harris is nothing more than a journeyman and should be a back-up. Clemmens showed promise, but clearly isn’t ready. If he can add some bulk and strength, he could be a RT candidate in the future. I liked what I saw in Sheppard, fundamentals all really solid, but he is limited athletically and also needs to add some strength.

    My hope is that they upgrade the interior, but should just take the “best o-lineman” available approach. Also wouldn’t be surprised to see them spend on a veteran G in FA.

    And yes, it is Zimmer who decides who makes the final roster, not Spielman.

  29. In 2011, the Vikings suffered through a 3-13 season when Spielman and coach Leslie Frazier shared power in personnel decisions. Wilf finally got it right in 2012 by naming Spielman as his general manager and things really fell into place when Zimmer was hired as Frazier’s replacement in 2014.

  30. Before you jack asses say anything else about Bridgewater, did you see Kalil just back up 2 steps, put his arms out and roll the defender toward the pocket? Play After Play, then Bennet just rolls inside.
    That doesn’t count the wiffs the LT had. It is very very clear the OL coach was letting players take plays off, or be happy standing people up. It just created a big log jam.
    Wait and see the difference next year.
    And you cant blame a QB that has 2 seconds from snap to grasp!
    ALL THAT and they STILL won the Division! HhhhhAH… Packers gonna get SMOKED this weekend, and the Birds will pick em clean!

  31. “I didn’t want to,” Zimmer said, via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press, when asked why Davidson’s deal wasn’t extended.

    Wow, what a jerk. Is it this guys fault the OL sucked? Has anyone seen Kalil play? Or the other dregs the vikes put on their OL?

  32. haraldsigurdson says:
    Jan 12, 2016 12:58 PM

    Oh, and for what it’s worth, I watched every single snap that Jackson and Ponder took with the team, pre season and regular season, and Bridgewater does SO MUCH MORE than either of them. It doesn’t show in the stats, and all you stats people are going to be fooled, but Bridgewater is truly the real deal. He’s a clutch passer already and he’s getting better.

    Yes he is. Watch the games, not just the stat lines.
    ==================================
    No, he’s not. He makes good short passes and in the flats. He’s very accurate there, and he does make some first downs. He’s certainly better than Ponder and Jackson, but they don’t set a very high bar for comparison.

    He’s proven that he can’t get his team in the endzone. There is a reason why Blair Walsh was 2nd (by 1) in field goal attempts. He can’t stretch the field, and is terribly inaccurate on longer passes.

    There are several QB’s in the league that you can consider “clutch”, and Bridgewater isn’t even close. Plus, “clutch” is a reflection of overall talent level. There aren’t QB’s that play horrible and then suddenly elevate their game only in pressure situations.

    He may be good. He’s not right now.

  33. It seems the Heidis are coming a bit unglued and we’re barely into the new year.
    Oh what an effect the Laces Out/Choke game has had.
    Looking forward to this offseason, but first, Big Time Football Teams, playing Important Football Games this weekend.

  34. Carl Gerbschmidt says:
    Jan 12, 2016 3:28 PM

    Wow, what a jerk. Is it this guys fault the OL sucked? Has anyone seen Kalil play? Or the other dregs the vikes put on their OL?

    I think that’s the point Gerbs! A good O Line coach may be able to coach up the dregs!

  35. Maybe they should ask Coach Priefer to explain why he told the holder not to spin the ball! HA HA HA HA. I knew not firing this guy would come back to bite them!

    #sparklepony

  36. So the cheeser above is bragging about the youth of the Packers huh? Might make just a little bit of sense to look at the age of the Packers’ players that are actually any good when bragging about the team youth. The good Viking players, other than AP, are actually under age 27.

  37. Just remember….you are 3-10-1 against the Packers. I won’t even get into championships.
    ——————————————-

    Um…..the Vikings have 18 division titles to the packers 13.

    Why do you cherry pick stats?

    But go ahead and brag about a championship won in 1930 with six teams, against the mighty Portsmouth Spartans.

  38. screamingyellowzonkers says:
    Jan 12, 2016 7:41 PM

    Just remember….you are 3-10-1 against the Packers. I won’t even get into championships.
    ——————————————-

    Um…..the Vikings have 18 division titles to the packers 13.

    Why do you cherry pick stats?

    But go ahead and brag about a championship won in 1930 with six teams, against the mighty Portsmouth Spartans.
    =================================
    “Um…..the Vikings have 18 division titles to the packers 13.”

    You just cherry picked stats. Congrats on the division championships. While other teams measure themselves by winning NFL Championships and Super Bowls, Vikings fans brag about division championships.

    And they won one this year. And now they’re out of the playoffs, While their hated rival, the Packers, move on to the second round.

    BTW, the Packers have won many other championships besides the 1930 one. They won the first two Super Bowls, then one in the mid- 90’s, and one in 2010.

    And now, in the present, they are still in the playoffs and the Vikings are out.

    Looks like the Packers have you in the present and the past.

    Tell me, which Division Championship was your favorite?

  39. Tough break, decent coach and its tough to produce when the offensive line had the least amount of talent on the team. He had to start a rookie 4th rounder at RT, a career backup at C, and a journeyman RT at RG (playing the position for the first time). Backing them up is a mishmash of undrafted free agents, 6th and 7th round picks and a rookie center who was traded for a backup LB. Not exactly a ton to work with. Throw in a LT that gets beat regularly and a solid RG who they moved to LG and didn’t play well.

    Hope they give the next guy more talent. Oh, and this year, can we FINALLY get someone with talent to play next to Harrison Smith? PLEASE??

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