Here’s a bit of news that should brighten your Saturday if you’re a Viking fan who wants to see a change in defensive philosophy: Clark Judge of CBSSports.com reports that the Vikings are going to interview former Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo for the defensive coordinator job. The Vikings have already spoken to Raheem Morris regarding the same position. Judge says Jacksonville interim coach Mel Tucker and Vikings linebackers coach Mike Singletary are also on the list to be interviewed.
So why should we be happy about Spagnuolo getting an interview? It shows the Vikings are not necessarily committed to sticking with the Cover-2 scheme favored by Leslie Frazier. Spagnuolo runs a 4-3 defense inspired by his mentor Jim Johnson. That is a much more blitz-heavy scheme than what the Vikings have been running the last few years. In other words, hiring Spagnuolo would – presumably, at least – mean an end to the conservative defensive approach we’ve all grown to hate.
According to Judge’s sources, Spagnuolo “could be the frontrunner” for the Vikings job. But, as Judge warns, Spagnuolo “could be the frontrunner in a lot of places, too, including Philadelphia.” It’s been assumed all along that Spagnuolo is looking to return to Philadelphia, where he served as an assistant under the late Jim Johnson before moving on to the Giants and ultimately St. Louis. So we should probably be reserved in our enthusiasm. But who knows? Maybe Leslie Frazier is finally ready to move on from the Cover-2 and discover the wonderful world beyond. Hiring Spagnuolo would certainly be a popular move among fans eager for a shake-up.