Vikings Should Consider Bill O’Brien


Bill who?

With Josh McDaniels now the offensive coordinator of the St Louis Rams, Jeremy Bates and Bill Musgrave set to make rounds of interviews on their own and Darrell Bevell in limbo; the Vikings may want to trace McDaniels coaching history and seek permission from the New England Patriots to interview current quarterback coach Bill O’Brien on becoming our next offensive coordinator.

The only time O’Brien’s name surfaced nationally over the past season was when he got into a heated exchange with Randy Moss during the halftime of a 41-14 thrashing of the Miami Dolphins. From the ESPN story this past October…

“The Patriots trailed 7-6 at halftime of the game, and Moss had just one pass thrown in his direction up to that point. According to sources, Moss told O’Brien it was on him to make some adjustments. O’Brien, who calls the plays, didn’t take kindly to the remark, and emotions rose.”

What’s this? O’Brien called plays this past season… for the New England Patriots who lead the NFL in scoring with 518 points? Wow, impressive! After all, New England went through this season without an offensive coordinator, but it’s unknown at least for now if O’Brien will promoted after this year or New England will look to bring someone else in to fill the coaching position after losing to the New York Jets. O’Brien also did have future Hall of Fame QB Tom Brady to work with, however the remainder of their offensive weapons were much less heralded (with the exception of Wes Welker) and tended to lack experience.

Leslie Frazier boldly stated during his introductory press conference that he would not be married to the West Coast offense. Instead Frazier preferred keeping a more flexible offense that was that maximized his players’ talents, specifically running back Adrian Peterson. The Patriots currently run a modified version of the “Erhardt-Perkins” offense, which is predicated on having a higher time of possession through a power-based run game. From a passing standpoint, the offense tends to be more vertical oriented and relies heavily on play action passes where the QB fakes a handoff to the running back (which in turn tends to bring a safety or a linebacker closer to the line of scrimmage) and then goes through his wide receiver reads downfield.

So I ask… Who bring a defense in like Adrian Peterson? How many WRs are better than Sticky Rice downfield? Can’t think of many names? Me neither. Also both Darrell Bevell and Jeremy Bates are West Coast offense guys. Plus Bill Musgrave last served as an offensive coordinator several years ago, so why not give a different quarterback coach a look?

Bill O’Brien would not be the sexiest of hires compared to Josh McDaniels or the Chicago Bears hiring of Mike Martz last year. Looking beneath the surface however, he could be a sensible hire for Frazier’s staff and also would not cost a fortune as Zygi Wilf pays out Chilly’s severance.

Jon Merckle may be followed on Twitter @thevikingpig