The other candidates didn’t seem like good fits
Based on what we saw in 2018, we know what happens when an offensive coordinator doesn’t see eye-to-eye with Mike Zimmer.
DeFilippo and Zimmer’s difference in philosophies (and the on-field performance of the team in the second half) wound up creating a rift that couldn’t be fixed and had a big role in torpedoing the Vikings’ season.
With the some of the rumored names that began to come out after the season, it just didn’t seem like any of them were good fits for Minnesota.
Hue Jackson was coming off a disastrous 3-36-1 stint with the Cleveland Browns as their head coach and before that, he was a middling offensive coordinator outside of his 2015 season (fifth in points, 15th in total offense) with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Dirk Koetter had the passing numbers, but his rushing attack had ranked in the top 10 just three times over his 12 seasons as a head coach and offensive coordinator.
Finally, Mike Mularkey made the term “exotic smash mouth” trend world wide, but it only translated in a pair of 9-7 seasons (and one playoff win) with the Tennessee Titans.
Zimmer knows Stefanski and some people even think he wanted to give him the offensive coordinator job over DeFilippo last spring. Maybe Stefanski isn’t the perfect candidate, but he certainly is one that can co-exist with Zimmer.