Tony Sparano’s sudden passing
The Vikings were definitely excited as the 2018 season kicked off. They were coming off a year where they made it to the NFC Championship and they were eager to get back and take the next step to get to a Super Bowl.
Just days before their training camp was set to begin though, Minnesota was handed a major blow when offensive line coach Tony Sparano tragically passed away due to a heart attack.
Losing a coach so unexpectedly, was a major setback for the Vikings. Players and fellow coaches struggled to comprehend and come to terms with Sparano’s passing. In addition to preparing for the upcoming season, Minnesota now had to deal with major grief.
Not only did Sparano’s death cause a major emotional setback for the Vikings, but it also created a problem with their coaching staff.
Minnesota lost their offensive line coach and not just that, Sparano was a very good one who was well-regarded league-wide. Zimmer had to find a new offensive line coach and ended up using a combination of Clancy Barone and Andrew Janocko to coach this extremely important position group and this ended up being a major downgrade.
2018 ended up being an extremely trying year for Zimmer and the Vikings. Sparano’s tragic death was really just the first of a few distractions from that season.