While some teams in the league have seen plenty of coaching and front office shake-ups during the off-season, the Minnesota Vikings staff has emerged relatively unscathed in the land of pink-slip purgatory.
Head coach Brad Childress did announce in March that he had made a few additions to his staff, and those additions should contribute nicely to the overall dynamic of a team that went a respectable 10-6 last season.
Paving the way, and likely Childress’ most important coaching choice this year is assistant special teams coach Chris White, who proved at the collegiate level that he could consistently lead his team to solid performances.
He coached more than half a dozen squads to top 20 finishes in special teams categories while working at Syracuse.
During that time, he also coached future Pro Bowler David Tyree of the New York Giants.
His experience should help a Vikings special teams unit that wants to play a bigger role in the success of the 2009 season.
What White intends to do differently remains to be seen, but it seems to have worked well at Syracuse, so fans can only hope that White can do the same for Minnesota.
Special Teams assistant Jason Glenn joins the coaching staff, having spent several seasons as a player for the New York Jets. He also spent time with Miami and the Vikings before a pre=season injury ended his playing career in 2007.
What White doesn’t already know about the Vikings already he can now get from Glenn, as he ended his playing career in Minnesota.
The two should work in a nice tandem as they can trade their expertise.
Dennis Polian, who takes over as Childress’ assistant, has spent time working in the NFL, AFL, CFL, and the college level.
Polian was most recently the assistant general manager of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL before coming to Minnesota, with such a diverse background Polian should help Childress see the big picture, and a number of the intangibles that make up a NFL team.
These coaches have some details to iron out before the season starts, and likely even before the pre-season starts, but most notably look for a much improved special teams unit to start the season.