The Minnesota Vikings have a new offensive coordinator in John DeFilippo, and they’ve now added a former offensive coordinator to their coaching staff in Todd Downing.
After the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl, the Minnesota Vikings moved quickly to make John DeFilippo their replacement for Pat Shurmur as offensive coordinator. Now, according to Adam Caplan of Sirius XM, the Vikings have added Todd Downing as a senior offensive assistant.
Downing spent the 2017 season as offensive coordinator with the Oakland Raiders after serving as the team’s quarterback’s coach the previous two seasons. He was let go in the head coaching transition from Jack Del Rio to Jon Gruden and had interviewed with the Chicago Bears to be their quarterbacks coach.
Downing also coached quarterbacks with the Detroit Lions (2010-2013) and the Buffalo Bills (2014) prior to landing with Oakland. His got his start in NFL coaching with the Vikings back in 2001 as a research intern, and he was an offensive quality control coach during Mike Tice’s last season as head coach in 2005. Thus, this move is a homecoming of sorts for Downing.
As a defense-centered head coach, Mike Zimmer has been open to adding to his offensive staff even if it may ruffle the feathers of someone already in place. Hiring Shurmur, a former NFL head coach (at the time) and offensive coordinator, as tight ends coach paved the way for the conflict that led to Norv Turner stepping down as offensive coordinator in the middle of the 2016 season.
DeFilippo got head coaching interviews as the Eagles were getting set for their Super Bowl run. If the promotion to offensive coordinator in Minnesota works out, he will get more looks after next season.
The Vikings blocked quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski from going to the New York Giants to join Shurmur, but he is in line for a promotion soon. If DeFilippo becomes a head coach and Stefanski goes elsewhere to run an offense, Downing will be a candidate to become the Vikings’ offensive coordinator in 2019.
Minnesota’s aggressive youth movement on the offensive coaching staff is sending a message to the rest of the NFL. This is a team that not only wants to win now; it wants to be in position to keep winning well into the next decade.