Vikings’ defensive coordinator arrested for drunk driving in May

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When a scrub on the Vikings’ practice squad was arrested for drunk driving, the team acted quickly and cut him. When someone more important to the team was arrested for drunk driving, the team was considerably more lenient.

The Vikings have acknowledged today that defensive coordinator George Edwards was arrested in May and charged with 4th degree DWI and operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Edwards later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless driving, which did not become publicly known until today.

“George Edwards immediately notified the team of this situation when it occurred,” the team said in a statement. “He was significantly disciplined by the Vikings. George has fulfilled both his legal obligations as well as the additional team-imposed discipline.”

Whatever “significantly disciplined” means, it means something less than happened to practice squad offensive lineman Isame Faciane, who got cut after his drunk driving arrest. Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said of Faciane’s arrest, “that’s one of the things that I’m trying to get rid of around here.”

But it’s a lot easier to “get rid of” a practice squad offensive lineman than a defensive coordinator. And so Edwards was able to drive drunk without losing his job.

85 responses to “Vikings’ defensive coordinator arrested for drunk driving in May

  1. The Vikings have committed fraud against PFT’s arrest meter and must be tried in the Internet District Court by a PFT prosecutor.

  2. “When you’re winning you can do whatever you want”…words from Jimmy Johnson years ago, this is a direct example of how true those words are.

  3. A team doesn’t get rid of someone solely because of a DWI; even though it is an egregious offense, rarely in private life does someone lose their job because of it.

    In the case of a practice squad player, already on the bubble (if I remember right, Faciane was released from the practice squad earlier in the year, then re-signed to it), many other factors are considered, and all other things being equal, someone showing such questionable judgment may just make him less valuable than another fringe player who hasn’t made such a faulty decision.

    (I am a former police officer, having made more than 600 DWI arrests, so don’t comment that I am somehow condoning it).

  4. I don’t see what the big deal is. Everyone is entitled to a few rounds of Grain Belt on the way home.

  5. I dont see why anyone would be surprised. The defense is playing great, theyre winning games, theyre making money

    Get rid of the coordinator, and they might not be great, and they might not win games, and they wont make money


  6. Finally the trolls have something to bash the Vikings about again. I know you wish it was about how our QB sucks or how porous our run defense is but I guess you gotta take what they give you.

  7. Special treatment, the more productive/important you are the longer leash you have. happens all over sports it is what it is, but every time it happens people freak out.

  8. Faciane:

    According to police, Faciane was observed entering closed Hwy. 7, making an illegal U-turn across the median and then going the wrong way down a Hwy. 100 ramp


    According to police, Edwards was observed failing to use a turn signal. Police followed him and pulled him over in a Taco Bell parking lot after police said he failed to signal a turn for a fourth straight time.

    Though the charge is the same (4th degree drunk driving), circumstances are not necessarily equal. Faciane was also charged with 3 additional but un-named misdemeanors. Edwards pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in a plea deal.

  9. I am always disgusted when (especially) highly-paid folks drive around drunk and put innocent folks at risk. But this happened in May, so I don’t see the point in discussing it now. It’s also not in comparison to a practice squad guy who has different rules, and is always considered a temp. Nonetheless, I trust the media achieved their goal and all move on.

  10. Jimmy Johnson on FOX NFL Sunday alluded to different rules for different players in his coaching days, talking about when Coughlin fined Strahan for being early to a meeting.

    Johnson said if a Special Teams player fell asleep in a meeting, cut him.

    If Troy Aikman fell asleep, “Hey, pssst Troy, wake up.”

  11. movike has it exactly right. No NFL player or coach has ever been cut solely because of a DWI. It’s always one element of many that are considered when you’re determining if you want to invest in the person. If you’ve bounced on and off the practice squad for the last three years, the DWI is baggage that the team doesn’t need. If you’re the coordinator of a top defense, a DWI isn’t going to cost you your job any more than it would cost anyone else their job in the real world. The team did impose discipline, so it’s not like they looked the other way, but don’t you think firing him would be a bit much?

    I get so sick of these suggestions of hypocrisy when an important member of the team doesn’t get treated the same way as an unimportant member of the team. Teams are being perfectly consistent by evaluating the contributions the player makes against the headache the player causes.

  12. insightfulcomments says:
    Oct 18, 2016 6:17 PM
    I see the Packer trolls are fantasizing about the Vikings again.

    Giants guy here but that is hysterical, half the reason the rest of us click on Packers articles is to see the vikes trolls making fools of themselves. I only clicked on this one to see how they either managed to justify the hypocrisy or blame the Packers for it.

    All due apologies to the Vikings real fans. We all have to suffer through the trolls in our fanbase, yours just has a high percentage of very vocal ones.

  13. Lions fan here. At least he had the “decorum” (inside Lions joke courtesy of wordsmith Caldwell) to not drive naked through a Wendy’s.

  14. I don’t condone either Edwards or Faciane drinking & driving. However, in situations like this each situation must be looked at individually. Faciane drove around construction cones and was going the wrong way on a ramp. To me, that sounds like he was more than just a little drunk. We haven’t heard the details of the Edwards situation, but for all we know his actions may not have been as serious. Not to say that any drinking & driving is ok, but the situations can be very different. Also, the contracts of each person can play into it. It is very possible that the player could be cut and it might not cost the team anything. Edwards might very well have a large chunk of money that would still be due to him. Also, Faciane may have been on his way out anyways seeing as he had been cut before. They may very well have been wanting to to make room for someone else.

  15. How can PFT say “Edwards was able to drive drunk” ? He was not convicted of driving drunk, but for careless driving … big difference. Had they had a rock solid case they would not have accepted a careless driving plea deal.

  16. “He was significantly disciplined by the Vikings.

    They gave him a stern talking to.

  17. Same thing I would do for my company. Can the useless guy, keep the important guy, for the same offense, duh. What I wouldn’t do is grandstand my morality when letting the little guy go.

  18. magnumpimustache says:

    Oct 18, 2016 6:28 PM
    No one should be fired for a dui.


    Oh, really.

    How about those who lose their lives owing to someone driving under influence?

  19. Stupid comment. Edwards is established. He’s earned his stripes an’t earned therefore should be given a second chance. But, Faciane hasn’t earned squat. The team gave him 2nd and 3rd chances. He hasn’t established himself, big difference.

  20. Has he had a dui before?

    Did he injure anyone while dui?

    Is the punishment he received from the court along with the public criticism that will come be enough so he won’t get another dui?

    Those are the first 3 questions any reasonable person should ask before the even begin to think about firing him.

    The zero tolerance of anyone but themselves internet lynch mob doesn’t like asking background questions however.

  21. psj3809 says:
    Oct 18, 2016 6:10 PM
    What a joke. Happy to cut a nobody. The second it’s a top coach on their staff they get a slap on the wrist. What a joke


    And I’m sure the Hoodie would cut Tommy Boy if he was arrested for DWI.

  22. I wonder how many of you that are posting “Off with his head,” have had a DUI, or arrested for something else?
    Would it be different if it were YOU losing a job?
    It is a bad thing but on the other hand the min DUI levels are so low now they might just as well close the business that pays for most of the salaries with Beer commercials.
    Sadly 80% of the alcohol is consumed by 20% of the population..

  23. He was driving recklessly not driving drunk. If you’re gonna bash him and the organization at least stat facts. If he was charged in a court of law for driving under the influence then yes he should be disciplined for it. I don’t care what that stupid cop arrested him for, it’s what he was charged with in a court of law. Don’t bring up the plea agreement etc, he was not driving under the influence. Facts.

  24. Accountability means absolutely nothing in Minnesota or to Mike Zimmer.
    Hell, one of their players tortured and abused a 4 year old child and not only was he welcomed back with open arms, he was given a raise.

  25. codythao35 says:
    Oct 18, 2016 6:12 PM

    You get one more chance, so don’t screw up again. What kind of time model is this? Unexceptable.


    I highly suggest that you go back to school.

  26. Did the Steelers cut Big Ben after his incidents??
    Did the Packers cut Favre after his alcohol & Vicodin issues?

    So on and so on

    So YES, morons….there IS a double standard!

  27. This is terrible. It never should have happened.
    If this guy was with my Packers, the police would’ve just driven him home. And gotten his autograph.

  28. Look at all the loveless losing fans come out. Grasping at straws to bash the Vikings. Can’t bash our dominating play and perfect record…..

  29. RandyinRoxbury says:
    Oct 18, 2016 6:44 PM
    This would never happen to my Patriots, our coaches are studying hard late into the night and are not out drinking.

    RandyinRoxbury says:
    Oct 18, 2016 6:46 PM
    Vikings Have 18 Division Championships says:
    Oct 18, 2016 6:19 PM
    True, however zero NFL titles unlike my Patriots.

    Oh chippy, it’s so sad to see you pretending to be a Pats fan on this thread trying to get a 2 for 1 trolling Pats and Vikes fans. Your little fishes do have a couple of those old dusty chiseled from stone type Lombardis you could have tweaked Vikings fans with but if you were a real football fan you would know the Vikings do have an NFL title, albeit not a SB win and Pats fans just find you amusing.

  30. trolls get some control, you know darn well if a coach on your team that you liked did this. You wouldn’t be saying he should lose his job.Enough of this nonsense

  31. To the rubes saying he was only recklessly driving, that was just the charge he pleaded down to. He was indeed arrested for DUI. Read the Pioneer Press for the case details. He blew a .11 which is .03 over the legal limit.

  32. slickspielman says:
    Oct 18, 2016 7:24 PM

    He was driving recklessly not driving drunk. If you’re gonna bash him and the organization at least stat facts. If he was charged in a court of law for driving under the influence then yes he should be disciplined for it. I don’t care what that stupid cop arrested him for, it’s what he was charged with in a court of law. Don’t bring up the plea agreement etc, he was not driving under the influence. Facts.

    I smell a Homer…..

  33. pervyspankspackfans says:
    Oct 18, 2016 8:08 PM
    Look at all the loveless losing fans come out. Grasping at straws to bash the Vikings. Can’t bash our dominating play and perfect record…..

    Our? What position do you play spanky?

  34. I don’t remember hearing that Edwards was so drunk that he drove up the wrong way up a freeway.

    The Vikings as a team have stood by and supported previous offenders (Jabari Price comes to mind). I hate to say that there are different levels of drink driving severity, as each is idiotic and a risk to others. However, there is driving over the limit but effectively being in control of your vehicle, and then there’s being so drunk that you don’t know which way is up.

  35. vikingjack73 says:
    Oct 18, 2016 7:42 PM

    Did the Steelers cut Big Ben after his incidents??
    Did the Packers cut Favre after his alcohol & Vicodin issues?

    So on and so on

    So YES, morons….there IS a double standard!


    Congratulations. Your Vikings are now part of the problem.

    Take a bow.

  36. Nothing to see here, everybody is acting like somebody blew up a political parties office or something. This is small pataetas.

  37. As a diehard Viking fan, and someone that has dealt with alcoholism in the past, this upsets me. Not because they kept George Edwards, and worked to help him get through his issues (either legal or personal), but that they didn’t do the same for Isame.

    I’m not condoning, or making an excuse for either of their actions, but we all make mistakes. Luckily, both men didn’t injure or take the life of another loved one.

    Best of luck to Isame. I hope he gets the help he needs and he lands somewhere else. And best of luck to the Vikes the rest of the way.

  38. Who cares? That’s the world we live in. Do you think Brady would be cut for a DUI? Do you think a Patriots practice scrub would be? This has already been displayed by the Adrian Peterson saga.

  39. Double hypocrisy because “waiting for adjudication” for the practice squad player was never an option when weighed against the negative publicity but also in the dispensation of justice. This original post stated, “And Edwards was able to drive drunk without losing his job.” That is not true (may have to retract). Under the law, he did no such thing based on his plea. The question is, how did it get to that? Because that gave the Vikings cover.

  40. It’s the old Jimmy Johnson rule. He cut a player for sleeping in a meeting. He said if it was a star player he would have asked someone to wake the player up.

  41. For the first time in decades the Vikings look like an actual professional football team. And a whole lot of it has to do with the defense.

    Fact of the matter is, this guy is damn good at his job. So give him a stern talking to and move on.

  42. panthersfan2001 says:
    Surprised there isn’t more DUI’s outta minnesota. What the hell else is there to do up there?
    Seriously? We have 4 seasons of fun in Minnesota, you should come and try them.

  43. Let’s not chew our crayons with all this hypocrisy talk okay.

    If a Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, or a Russell Wilson gets arrested for DWI, would each be cut?…………crickets

  44. It took that long to report it because it took that long to notice a change in his behavior.

    He showed up for work sober one day in August.

  45. The Strib put this up because they haven’t trolled the local team lately. 5-0 looking good so they bring up a story from last May. I do not care.

  46. Actually he made a substantial monetary contribution (probably to a charity) and it’s alluded to that he attended classes as part of the agreement. He also was upfront about it from the get go. Faciano on the other hand ignored Coaches repeated advice given only hours before and then refused to contact the team/coach TWICE when asked to. He wasn’t cut without a chance, he simply chose to discard that chance.

    Remember when a certain Packer was arrested with drugs and a gun in his car? How quickly they cut him!….oh wait.

  47. Fire a young black up and coming football coach that has a top 5 D for reckless driving. How would have that played out?

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