The Vikings appear to have completed their search for a man to replace Darrell Bevell. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that Atlanta Falcons Assistant Head Coach/QB coach Bill Musgrave has agreed to join the Vikings as their offensive coordinator.
Musgrave began his NFL journey as a QB with the Cowboys, 49ers and Broncos. In 1997 he dove into coaching as an offensive assistant for the Raiders, and after one year moved to the Eagles where he served in the same capacity. In 1999 he moved to Carolina as QB coach, and in 2000 was promoted by that organization to offensive coordinator.
Unfortunately, Musgrave lasted just four games as OC in Carolina before resigning amid a firestorm of criticism. He next surfaced in the college ranks, serving for two years as OC/QB-TE coach at the University of Virginia where he was praised for his work with future NFL star Matt Schaub. After that short exile Musgrave returned to the NFL, working for two years with the Jaguars as OC and then OC/QB coach, then for one year with the Redskins as QB coach.
In 2006 the well-traveled Musgrave landed in Atlanta, and for a few years enjoyed relative job security, remaining as QB coach through 2010, with the assistant head coach title being added this last year.
By my count, Musgrave has had three separate stints as an offensive coordinator, one in college. Obviously, with his background as a QB coach, the Vikings believe Musgrave would be a good man to have leading an offensive that will soon be taken over by a young, relatively untested QB, either Joe Webb or someone they draft in 2011.
I’m certain Musgrave’s work with Matt Ryan the last couple of years figured into this equation for Minnesota. Ryan developed quickly after his phenomenal rookie season, becoming a bona fide MVP candidate in 2010.
Like Brad Childress and Darrell Bevell before him, Musgrave is considered a West Coast offense guy. Leslie Frazier has indicated his preference for an offensive coordinator who is willing to build a system around the players rather than install a system then force the players into it.
We’ll see what sort of approach Musgrave favors. He does have a lot of experience developing QBs, but his record as a playcaller is spotty at best.