Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Vikings: Musgrave has West Coast roots
By Kevin Seifert
Leslie Frazier's background as a defensive coach makes the Minnesota Vikings' offensive coordinator perhaps the most important assistant on his staff. Wednesday, it appeared Frazier had decided on Bill Musgrave for the job.
ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported that Musgrave, who spent the past five seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, has agreed to terms on a contract. He was also pursued by the Cleveland Browns, but he'll almost certainly have more latitude over the Vikings than he would have had under offensive-minded team president Mike Holmgren and coach Pat Shurmur.
Musgrave has had two stints as an NFL coordinator and one in college. During stops with the Carolina Panthers (2000), the University of Virginia (2001-02) and Jacksonville Jaguars (2003-04), Musgrave used elements of the West Coast scheme. (He resigned from the Panthers position after four games.) But he has since worked in other philosophies while in Atlanta, and I'm guessing that breadth of experience appealed to Frazier -- who has said he wants his offensive scheme melded around personnel rather than the other way around.
As of this moment, the Vikings haven't acknowledged any movement on their coaching staff. But Musgrave will replace Darrell Bevell, who on Tuesday was interviewing for the Seattle Seahawks' offensive coordinator job. Special teams coordinator Brian Murphy has been hired by the Carolina Panthers and is expected to be replaced by Mike Priefer.
Defensively, Frazier is expected to promoted linebackers coach Fred Pagac to defensive coordinator. One reason for that belief is that Mike Singletary has already announced on ESPN 1000 in Chicago that he will be the Vikings' linebackers coach in 2011.
(Update: The Vikings have posted a press release on their web site announcing the Pagac, Priefer and Singletary moves.)
If you're interested, here are some numbers on the three NFL teams Musgrave has been the offensive coordinator for:
- 2000 Carolina Panthers: No. 20 in yards, No. 21 in points*
- 2003 Jacksonville Jaguars: No. 12 in yards, No. 25 in points
- 2004 Jacksonville Jaguars: No. 21 in yards, No. 29 in points
*Resigned after four games