Vikings to Have TE, Assistant OL Coaches Take over for Tony Sparano After Death

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJuly 28, 2018

Minnesota Vikings tight ends coach Clancy Barone, center, talks with offensive linemen during walk-throughs as training camp opened for rookies and certain veterans at the NFL football team's complex Wednesday, July 25, 2018, in Eagan, Minn. Tony Sparano, the team's head offensive line coach, died on Sunday of a heart condition. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Jim Mone/Associated Press

The Minnesota Vikings announced on Saturday that tight ends coach Clancy Barone and assistant offensive line coach Andrew Janocko will share the O-line coaching duties following the death of Tony Sparano.

Sparano died Sunday at the age of 56 due to natural causes brought on by arteriosclerotic heart disease.

Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer believes keeping the same system in place is key, per the Vikings' official Twitter account: "For the last two years, we've worked really hard on the footwork, schemes and techniques. I felt it was important to continue to do that. I didn't want to change the player's terminology or footwork."

Barone joined Zimmer's staff last year as tight ends coach. He does, however, have a good amount of experience working with linemen. He has served as the offensive line coach for the Atlanta Falcons (2004) and the Denver Broncos (2010, 2015-16) as well as for a handful of college programs.

Denver won Super Bowl 50 with Barone coaching the line.

Janocko spent time working on the line with Sparano last season.

After tackles Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers joined the team in free agency and center Pat Elflein was drafted, the Vikings offensive line was a big part of the team's success. Despite missing two quarterbacks and their star rookie running back for much of the season due to injury, the offensive line helped pave the road to the NFC Championship Game in 2017.