Another Defensive Coordinator Candidate Is Officially off the Board

The Minnesota Vikings have been hard at work this week, interviewing multiple defensive coordinator candidates to take over the coaching position for the 2023 season. So far, they’ve interviewed four candidates including Sean Desai, Brian Flores, Ryan Nielsen, and in-house candidate Mike Pettine, but there could be more on the way.

Prior to Sunday, Nielsen was the only defensive coordinator candidate to accept a job elsewhere, signing with the Atlanta Falcons and staying within the NFC South. However, now another candidate is off the board, one that the Vikings did not get a chance to interview. That coach is former Denver Broncos head coach, Vic Fangio.

Fangio decided over the weekend that he would be joining the Miami Dolphins, taking the defensive coordinator position under head coach Mike McDaniel. Miami went 9-8 in 2022, finishing second in the AFC East behind the Buffalo Bills. They made the playoffs as the No. 7 seed before being eliminated by Buffalo in the Wild Card round.

Texas Longhorns running back Bijan Robinson (5) carries the ball during the Texas Longhorns game against Baylor on Friday, Nov. 25, 2022. Ut Baylor Football 02614

Of course, the story of Miami’s season revolved around the status of Tua Tagovailoa, who suffered multiple concussions over the course of the season. However, their defense was very porous throughout the season as well. They ranked 24th in scoring defense, allowing 23.5 points per game.

Dec 19, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio looks on in the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings defensive coordinator in 2022, Ed Donatell, spent three seasons in Denver as Fangio’s defensive coordinator from 2019-21 before going to Minnesota. As the Vikings coordinator, Donatell’s defense struggled mightily, ranking among the bottom three in the league in both points and yards allowed.

Because of the fact that the Vikings had hired Donatell a year earlier, they were considered one of the teams that could hire Fangio this year to try and fix their defense. Now, that option is officially off the board for Minnesota. There should be more interviews in the coming week, though, to see how the Vikings approach their DC spot in 2023.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.