Two Vikings Coordinators Voted Among the Best in the League

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Every offseason, NFL teams go through hiring processes with coaches just like players go through free agency.

This year, the NFL Player’s Association decided to have all the players across the league vote on their satisfaction with their coordinators from a scale of 1-10. For two Vikings coordinators, they’ve done such a good job in their current roles, that they have finished among the top five at their positions in the league. Those coaches are defensive coordinator Brian Flores and special teams coordinator Matt Daniels.

Two Vikings Coordinators Voted Among the Best in the League

Vikings Coordinators
Jan 1, 2023; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; A Minnesota Vikings helmet sits on the field during warmups prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Daniels was brought aboard the Vikings staff in 2022 by Kevin O’Connell after spending a pair of seasons as an assistant special teams coach with the Dallas Cowboys.

Since Daniels was brought aboard, the Vikings have seen some major contributors on their special teams unit. Kene Nwangwu was named a second-team All-Pro as a kick returner in 2022, and Josh Metellus’ success with the group translated to a massive role with the defense in 2023.

Plus, long snapper Andrew DePaola finished as a first-team All Pro in 2022 and he’s recently been named to the NFC’s Pro Bowl team.

This year, undrafted rookie NaJee Thompson has blossomed into one of the best punt gunners in the league under Daniels’ tutelage, and even in Minnesota’s blowout loss to the Packers last weekend, he came away with a couple big plays on special teams. It’s no surprise to see Daniels among the list of top special teams coordinators.

Minnesota Vikings cornerback NaJee Thompson (11) recovers a muffed punt return by Green Bay Packers wide receiver Samori Toure (83) during their football game Sunday, December 31, 2023, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

As for Flores, he has done a masterful job of turning around Minnesota’s defensive unit in 2023. After the team ranked among the worst in the NFL in terms of points allowed and yards allowed, the Vikings’ strength in 2023 has been their defense.

Despite going through a QB carousel following Kirk Cousins’ torn Achilles and some mind-boggling turnover troubles, the Vikings defense ranks 12th in points allowed and 10th in yards allowed per play. They’ve displayed some incredible resiliency, seeing as they’ve been on the field for more plays than 25 other defenses.

The rejuvenation of Camryn Bynum at the safety spot as well as emergences of Metellus and UDFA Ivan Pace on defense can be attributed to some incredibly hard work from the players as well as the buy-in to Flores’ scheme.

Oct 24, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores looks on from the field during the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Flores took the Vikings coordinator job this offseason after spending 2022 as an assistant coach in Pittsburgh. Prior to that role, he spent three seasons as head coach of the Miami Dolphins before being fired under questionable circumstances, which led to Flores filing a lawsuit against the league.

Since then, the current Vikings defensive coordinator has continued to prove himself as of the best minds in the league, and it could lead to Flores getting another head coaching gig this offseason if he were to leave Minnesota.

Still, this goes to show that there is an incredible level of trust in Minnesota’s current coaching staff from the players. The Vikings should do whatever they can to retain this group of coordinators.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.

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