4 former Vikings who could become great NFL head coaches one day

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Jared Allen
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Jared Allen /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/ Getty Images) Sean Mannion /

Sean Mannion

Sean Mannion‘s time as a Minnesota Viking was rather uneventful from a player’s perspective, but valuable experience for someone who could work on a coaching staff in the future.

Mannion served as Kirk Cousins’ backup from 2018 to 2020 before having a brief stint with the Seattle Seahawks and then returning to Minnesota prior to the 2021 regular season. While there may have been better options for quarterback depth in those times, Mannion served as a great complement to Cousins.

The backup quarterback position has been regarded as the best position no one wants, as the lack of playing time can be challenging for a player’s career. But often notable head coaches have come out of a playing career of a journeyman backup.

Gary Kubiak, Jason Garrett, and Doug Pederson all serve as examples of former backup quarterbacks who turned into more-than-serviceable head coaches in the league. Mannion could elect to be the next name when the time to move on to playing arrives.

Mannion’s current situation resembles much of Kellen Moore, who spent time as a backup and spent time on and off practice squads and behind a starter before settling into coaching. Moore’s name has already been mentioned as a head coach, which could be a hard path for Mannion to ignore.

At 30-years-old, and under Geno Smith, it’s difficult to see where Mannion is going to get his chance to be a starter in the league. Having stints on and off a practice squad may just run its course, and being able to progress into a coaching career could be too good to give up.

If teams offer Mannion a chance, the veteran should take it by far. His work as a passer is already out on film, so it may be time to serve as a play-caller from the sidelines with a coaching headset on instead of a jersey and pads.