The Vikings filled two coaching staff holes on Thursday, naming Alan Williams defensive coordinator and Brendan Daly defensive line coach. Williams replaces Fred Pagac who was demoted from defensive coordinator last week and is apparently still mulling taking back his old linebackers coach job. Daly steps in for Karl Dunbar who was (somewhat surprisingly) canned a couple of weeks ago.
Most fans seem indifferent at best to Alan Williams, a 10-year DB coach who has no defensive coordinator experience. Williams is presumably being brought in mainly because, as a DB coach, he understands coverages better than Pagac. Williams also has plenty of experience with Leslie Frazier’s beloved Cover-2. In other words, don’t expect much to change with the defensive scheme in 2012. Williams may bring some tweaks but mostly it will be the same-old same-old, just better-executed (hopefully).
About Brendan Daly, there isn’t much to say. He was on Brad Childress’ staff a couple of years ago before spending time as the Rams’ defensive line coach. His work with Chris Long may have convinced Frazier he will be better at developing young players than the outgoing Dunbar. The Vikes have several youngish defensive linemen they’re trying to bring along and figure to have more after probably drafting at least one defensive tackle this year.
It’s hard to be very enthusiastic about either of these moves. Williams will be perceived as a desperation hire after several high-profile candidates were interviewed and apparently turned the Vikings down. Maybe he’ll turn out to be a good defensive coordinator but who knows? He has no track record whatsoever. Right now he looks like a Frazier lackey at best.
Before Williams can begin working whatever magic he may possess as a defensive schemer, the Vikings will have to get him some better players. Both safety positions, the top three corner positions, weak-side and middle linebacker and nose tackle are all up in the air right now by my estimation. Good luck Alan, you’re gonna need it.