At last, a concrete report involving a potential successor to Leslie Frazier in Minnesota. Jason La Canfora says the Vikings have approached former Patriots assistant and current Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien about their yet-to-be-created head coaching vacancy.
The key words here are “have approached.” So this is not just random speculation. The Vikings are actively reaching out to coaching candidates and appear to have O’Brien at the top of their list.
O’Brien was a hot commodity last year and was rumored to be headed to Philadelphia before electing to return to Penn State. It appears he will be a hot commodity again this offseason with multiple head coaching jobs opening up, including ones in Washington and Houston.
The Penn State program was in total disarray, facing NCAA sanctions related to the Joe Paterno-Jerry Sandusky mess, when Bill O’Brien took over. In the face of pretty long odds, O’Brien not only kept the Penn State program alive, he exceeded expectations.
He is now trying to parlay that heroic effort into an NFL return. O’Brien’s experience as an assistant under Bill Belichick in New England is a big point in his favor.
The Houston Texans, who recently fired Gary Kubiak, have also reportedly approached O’Brien.
The Vikings have publicly expressed their support for current head coach Leslie Frazier, but most believe Frazier will be fired after posting another losing record in 2013.