- Ben Goessling, ESPN Staff Writer
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MINNEAPOLIS -- You know the quickest way to get the team you cover to announce an addition to their coaching staff? Write a blog post about the coaches with the assumption the staff is finished.
To wit: I did that this afternoon, talking about how the Vikings' 17-man staff of assistant coaches was the smallest in the NFC North, and not two hours after it was published, the Vikings announced they hired former Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns and St. Louis Rams center Hank Fraley as their assistant offensive line coach. Fraley will join Vikings offensive line coach Jeff Davidson, filling the role occupied by assistant offensive line coach Ryan Silverfield last season.
(And in my defense, I included a line in the post about the Vikings possibly adding another coach or two.)
At any rate, with Fraley on board, the Vikings now have 18 assistants under head coach Mike Zimmer, which is the same number as the Detroit Lions and two fewer than they had last season. Fraley, who had been a coach for two seasons with the University of San Diego and San Jose State, will take his first job as a NFL coach after playing 11 seasons in the league. He'll likely be able to pass along some expertise to the Vikings' interior linemen. Considering the Vikings carried eight linemen for much of last season, Fraley will give them some flexibility in practices when working with linemen.
From that perspective, especially, the move makes a lot of sense. So much sense, in fact, that perhaps one should have been more cautious when writing about the Vikings' staff like it was complete. My bad.