December offensive coordinator change worked well for Baltimore in 2012

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On the surface, it looks like a desperate move. But that doesn’t mean the firing of Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo won’t work. Indeed, six Decembers ago, another team that wears purple made the same move, on almost precisely the same day.

December 10, 2012. Ravens coach John Harbaugh fired offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, replacing him with Jim Caldwell. And the Ravens went on to win the Super Bowl.

It didn’t look like it would go that way. After a loss to Washington dropped Baltimore to 9-4, the Ravens lost two of three with Caldwell running the offense. But 10-6 was still good enough to win the division, and the fourth-seeded Ravens beat the fifth-seeded Colts at home before going on the road to beat the top-seeded Broncos in double overtime, the second-seeded Patriots in the AFC title game, and the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.

The Vikings will need to do a lot better than 1-2 to make it to the playoffs. They likely will need to run the table. And if they fail to quality, don’t be shocked if coach Mike Zimmer becomes this year’s inevitable surprise firing.

Although Zimmer is a great coach and a brilliant defensive tactician, he hired DeFilippo. And Zimmer didn’t do enough to get DeFilippo to run the offense the way it needed to be run, designing plays and concepts aimed at getting the most out of the players they have, and at exploiting the weaknesses and tendencies of every defense they face.

The question now becomes whether interim offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski can do enough, with Zimmer’s assistance and support, to kick-start an offense that has failed to properly complement one of the best defenses in football. It starts Sunday against the Dolphins, followed by NFC North contests against the Lions and Bears.

34 responses to “December offensive coordinator change worked well for Baltimore in 2012

  1. its not like a new offense will be installed, its just a new guy calling the plays. change for the sake of change

  2. That loss to Washington was when Kirk Cousins came in to relieve RGIII. He completed 2 of 2 passes for 26 yards and a TD with 29 seconds left, then ran in a 2-point conversion to send the game into OT, where the Redskins won.

    So this is the second OC Cousins has gotten fired.

  3. It’s a stretch to call Mike Zimmer a great coach. Great implies rings, multiple. Just being friends with Bill Parcells or even having his stamp of approval doesn’t mean he’s great. Look at Todd Bowles.

  4. Ray’s last dance, Rocky mountain rainbow, Tucker redemption for the Cundiff , Ed’s 2 tickets to Paradise, The lights went out in NOLA to Joe gets to back up the Brinks! Heck of a fun run for Charm City!

  5. Seems like the obvious problem is the guy they’re paying $84 million eating up so much cap space, which didn’t allow them to upgrade their real problem last year, that terrible offensive line. A whole lot more than Zimmer might lose his job over that blunder. I mean it’s not like we have ample evidence of him doing exactly this same thing the last four years or something.

  6. Vikings win 2 more games and they are in. 8-7-1 will be in the playoffs…either the Vikings or Packers. None of CAR, PHI, and WAS will win out, which is what they likely need to do.

  7. Actually if you look at the playoff predictor models, not only do they not have to run the table to make the playoffs they can go 1-2 and have a near 50% chance of doing so.

  8. And if they fail to quality, don’t be shocked if coach Mike Zimmer becomes this year’s inevitable surprise firing.
    —————————————

    Zimmer isn’t going anywhere and anyone who thinks he will be fired is a complete moron.

  9. Liberalsruineverything says:
    December 11, 2018 at 1:08 pm
    Zimmer isn’t going anywhere and anyone who thinks he will be fired is a complete moron.
    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    After an off-season of tweaking a near-miss team, plus the addition of Cook, the results fall way short of expectations. He should be fired, but you’re right, he probably won’t be.

  10. packertruth says:
    December 11, 2018 at 12:43 pm
    “Although Zimmer is a great coach”

    ++++

    Are you sure about that?
    ——————————–

    I’m with you. Zimmer might be a great DC, but as a head coach that’s 100% hands off on the offense, that’s not really being a great head coach. Thats being a good DC, and knowing to hire someone who’s good at being the OC. BUT it doesn’t mean he’s not smart. If the problem’s with the offense, he can say to Spielman and the Wylfs ‘Hey! Thats not me! Thats him! Fire him!’

  11. Zimmer is NOT a great head coach.
    I do think he is a great defensive coordinator.

    The Vikings need to win 2 to get in. 8-7-1.

    Philly has Rams, Texans, Skins
    Carolina has NO, Atl, NO
    Was has Jax, TN, Philly

  12. LandOf10000MethLabs says:
    December 11, 2018 at 1:14 pm
    Question for Viking fans:
    Next year, when Mike McCarthy is head coach of the Vikings, will you still continue to refer to him as “McMuffin”? Inquiring minds want to know!
    ———
    Will packer fans ever refer to their head coach as Aaron?
    Inquiring minds want to know!

  13. The Vikings will need to do a lot better than 1-2 to make it to the playoffs. They likely will need to run the table.
    /////////////////
    Eagles play Rams, Texans, Redskins.
    Redskins play Jaguars, Titans, Eagles.
    Panthers play Saints, Falcons, and Saints again.

    Which one of these teams wins their last 3 games, to force the Vikings to win out?

    Seems to me if the Vikings win 2 of 3 then they are absolutely in. Those other teams probably lose 2 of 3. Hell, the Vikings could actually go 1-2 and make the playoffs, although I don’t want to test that theory.

  14. LandOf10000MethLabs says:
    December 11, 2018 at 1:14 pm
    Question for Viking fans:

    Next year, when Mike McCarthy is head coach of the Vikings, will you still continue to refer to him as “McMuffin”? Inquiring minds want to know!
    //////////
    Not sure what is more confusing; your dumb question, your attempt at trolling, or that people actually liked your comment.

  15. stellarperformance says:

    After the return of the baby Jesus, plus the addition of a new defensive coordinator, the results fall way short of expectations.

    ####

    Fixed that for you…

  16. The writer is wrong. Zim did not hire DeFilippo. Spielman & the Wilf’s did as Zim wanted to elevate Stefanski and the trio of GM & owners wanted a new trendy coordinator in the wings to possibly replace Zim next season. The fail is on Spielman & the Wilf’s.

  17. Replacing Zimmer would put the Vikings in full re-build mode; bad move. There is NOTHING wrong with firing an OC who is not developing the offense. It was better 4 weeks ago and has gotten worse ever since the bye. Three failed 3rd and 2 or less last night—-no imagination and the coach did not put the team in good situations all night. Vikes will make the playoffs but until we get quality guards and consistency in the play-calling we will continue to be a fringe playoff team.

  18. First, Zimmer isn’t going anywhere.

    Second, the Vikings have a good roster, but need upgrades on the offensive line. Do that and make sure the OC understands you actually can run the ball in the NFL. Then, they’ve got a team that can compete for a Super Bowl.

  19. gtodriver says:
    December 11, 2018 at 2:10 pm
    Fixed that for you…
    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Not me. You fixed it for you.

  20. This is a lot like the end of the Tice Dynasty, the Childress Dynasty and the Frazier Dynasty. The purples divide up into groups, pointing fingers and calling names.

    “The O-line stinks!” screams one group.

    “It’s Cousins!” wails another group.

    “Flip is in over is head!” laments another group.

    “Zimmer is not head coach material!” cries yet another group.

    “Spielman built the whole mess! It’s his fault!” cries still another group.

    Each group is convinced that fixing whichever one problem they’ve championed will take them to the promised land. Maybe the “Fire Flip” group is right. Let’s see how it plays out.

  21. The Almighty Cabbage says:
    December 11, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    Each group is convinced that fixing whichever one problem they’ve championed will take them to the promised land. Maybe the “Fire McCarthy” group is right. Let’s see how it plays out.
    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    Fixed it for you.

  22. screamingyellowzonkers says:
    December 11, 2018 at 3:49 pm
    The Almighty Cabbage says:
    December 11, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    Each group is convinced that fixing whichever one problem they’ve championed will take them to the promised land. Maybe the “Fire McCarthy” group is right. Let’s see how it plays out.
    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    Fixed it for you.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Awww, how cute. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. That said, don’t try to put words in my mouth. You don’t have the vocabulary or the writing skills.

    Next!

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