With Brad Childress now fired, speculation will naturally turn to what big names Zygi Wilf may try to draw to Minnesota to help right the ship. The first towering NFL figure drawing attention is Bill Parcells, the Hall-of-Fame coach who was last seen turning around the Miami Dolphins organization.
The Parcells name comes up for two reasons: 1) Parcells has expressed interest in taking one last job before calling it a career, not as a coach but in the same guru capacity he enjoyed in Miami; and, 2) Zygi Wilf is a life-long Giants fan who worships former Giants coach Parcells as a football god.
Clearly, the Vikings are an organization that could use an overhaul, and Parcells has shown himself adept at pulling off such massive top-to-bottom make-overs. The question is, would Parcells consider rebuilding the Vikings a challenge worthy of his talents, or does he look at Minnesota as a football backwater that has no shot at ever winning a title?
The big bummer, from the point-of-view of someone like Parcells, is the stadium situation. The Vikings are stuck in the Metrodome for one more year, and after that the waters become very, very murky. Parcells may look at the uncertainty surrounding the stadium, and the possibility of the whole franchise being moved after 2011, and decide he wants no part of such a mess.
On the other hand, the Vikings do have one thing that might be very attractive to Parcells: Core offensive talent to build around. We know Brett Favre will be gone after 2010, but Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin will still be here, as will Visanthe Shiancoe and possibly Sidney Rice. Parcells may look at the roster of skill players and realize that, if he can just swing a deal for a halfway decent quarterback, the team will be pretty competitive right away, and then it will be a matter of drafting well, and making sure the cupboard isn’t bare for future seasons (something Brad Childress failed in, at least when it came to the quarterback situation).
But even before dealing with personnel issues, Parcells would have the task of putting a front office and coaching staff in place. In Miami, Parcells brought in people he was familiar with from past jobs, like head coach Tony Sparano, who served under him in Dallas. We can reasonably assume then that Parcells would look to his past assistants/players as candidates for key positions. What this might mean for interim head coach Leslie Frazier, a respected guy who has no history with Parcells, is hard to say for certain. It’s likely that Parcells would want to wipe the slate clean, which would mean the end for most if not all of the existing Vikings staff.
The one immediate effect of a Parcells hire would be to re-energize the fanbase – a fanbase Wilf will need to mobilize in a big way if he wants to secure a new stadium. The firing of Childress will likely have a short-term positive effect on fan enthusiasm, but after awhile, something else good will have to happen. I imagine most fans would look at the arrival of Parcells as a step in the right direction for a franchise that, after a burst of success under Chilly, now looks as rudderless as it did during the darkest days of the Red McCombs-Mike Tice era.