2018 SeasonAll times ET

2018 Schedule
8-7-1, 2nd in NFC North
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Vikes hire ex-Bronco Kubiak as offensive adviser

Gary Kubiak will return to coaching with the Minnesota Vikings, a source tells ESPN's Adam Schefter. The former Broncos head coach will have an offensive advisory role, and his son Klint is expected to become the Vikings quarterbacks coach.

Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire

Longtime Vikings assistant Michels dies at 87

John Michels, a College Football Hall of Famer whose 27 seasons as a Minnesota Vikings assistant coach included all four of their Super Bowl appearances, died Thursday. He was 87.

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Mike Priefer tells me he's "juiced" at the opportunity of working for Freddie Kitchens in Cleveland. Once Priefer became a free agent upon his contract expiring on Tuesday, a handful of teams reached out for interviews -- three of which he said he turned down. A whirlwind week for the veteran special teams coordinator included interviews with the Browns, Falcons and Lions. The Vikings also tried to bring Priefer back and offered him a contract before he ultimately signed his deal with the Browns on Friday. Priefer, who was born in Cleveland, says he left the Browns facility "on Cloud 9" and is excited for the next step of his career after eight seasons in Minnesota and a chance to return home for the first time since he coached offensive tackles, tight ends and special teams at Youngstown State in 1997-98.

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

After Mike Priefer's contract expired on Tuesday, the former special teams coordinator and the Vikings parted ways. Priefer's punt/kickoff units in Minnesota were consistently explosive through his tenure, but there were a host of ups and downs in the kicking game (Blair Walsh, Daniel Carlson, even Dan Bailey's 7 missed FGs this season) over the last few years. Priefer was one of the main proponents of changing the rules for kickoffs during the offseason and is one of the leading veteran STCs in the NFL.

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Kevin Stefanski cites a "shared vision" when it comes to creating an offense that checks all the boxes that are important to Mike Zimmer while balancing what the offensive coordinator wants to get out of the scheme: "I have worked with coach for a bunch of years now. I understand him, he understands me. I think we both understand what gives defenses problems and with coach being a defensive coordinator, understands real well what is hard on a defense so he's someone that we're going to use as a resource. We're going to put together gameplans in a system and an offense that we feels gives our players the best chance to succeed on Sunday."

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

What will the Vikings offense look like under Kevin Stefanski? Will there be wholesale changes to the scheme or will the OC create an offense based on melding several philosophies together? "I think I could better answer that in the spring, really," Stefanski said. "We'll try to do absolutely everything. We're going to look at everything. We're going to really pull this thing apart and be very diligent about that aspect of it. What it ends up looking like remains to be seen. I have a pretty good idea of what I want it to look like, what coach wants it to look like, but we're going to work through that process and not skip any steps."

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

One month ago today, Kevin Stefanski took over offensive coordinator duties in Minnesota on an interim basis. Today he assumes the job full time after he was hired on Wednesday.

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Kirk Cousins formed his initial impression of Kevin Stefanski years ago and reflects on how far the Vikings OC has come since then: "I don't know what the personality trait is, but when you carry yourself well and relate well to players, that's a very valuable trait in a coach – and not every coach has that trait. And I first met Kevin and saw that he had that trait back at the Senior Bowl in 2012, and ever since then I've really followed his path and really felt that he'd be a coach I'd enjoy working with because of the experience I had at the Senior Bowl, and I always felt like he was an up-and-coming coach in the league. I'm sure, I know that his interview with Cleveland went as far as it did for good reason, and I think that he'll have other opportunities like that in the future, especially if we as an offense are able to do the job we're expecting to do this next fall."

Jim Mone/AP Photo
7dCourtney Cronin

Stefanski back as Vikings' offensive coordinator

Kevin Stefanski, the longest-tenured coach on the Vikings, has returned as offensive coordinator following a stint as the interim coach at the position and being a candidate for the Browns' coaching job.

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

The Vikings will retain Kevin Stefanski as their offensive coordinator for 2019, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The move comes moments after news broke that Browns offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens will take over head coaching duties in Cleveland, a position that Stefanski completed a second interview for on Tuesday. Stefanski's return to Minnesota is critical for a team looking to build continuity on offense after an 8-7-1 season where the Vikings ranked 20th in yards, 19th in scoring, 30th in the run game and 13th in passing. Stefanski has worked more closely with QB Kirk Cousins than anyone on staff, serving as his position coach before being promoted to interim offensive coordinator in Week 15. Many close to the situation indicated that the ideal situation for the offense moving forward was to keep Cousins in the same system with the same terminology, structure that he had in his first year in Minnesota to avoid having to learn/work in a new offense with a new offensive coordinator for a fourth straight season.

Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire

Panthers, Vike assistants to coach Shrine Game

Assistant coaches Sam Mills III of the Carolina Panthers and Adam Zimmer of the Minnesota Vikings will be the head coaches of the East-West Shrine Game.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
12dCourtney Cronin

Vikings' Zimmer: Lame-duck status 'no problem'

Four days after the Vikings' once-promising season came to a screeching halt with the team finishing 8-7-1 and missing the playoffs, Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer addressed his job status at his year-end news conference.

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Zimmer on what he's looking for in an offensive coordinator: "I think the biggest thing is we've got to score points. We didn't score enough when we were in the red zone. Obviously I want to be able to run the football and play-action pass, because I think that's the most effective way to affect a defense, but you know we didn't score enough points in the red zone, weren't good enough on third downs. There's a lot of things we need to improve on there. So that's going to be big. Part of it is making sure we're able to, without getting too complicated in X's and O's, a lot of the things I've been thinking about is we got this great player, how are we going to block him?"

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Mike Zimmer on finding his next offensive coordinator, says he wants to get 'innovative' with how they approach things on offense: "I'm looking at all kinds of options there. We're sitting down and evaluating everything. I think Kevin's a really good football coach, a very smart guy. I thought he did a good job for the three weeks, in a tough situation that we had to do. It's fair to the organization, to myself, to the fans, that we look at everybody."

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Mike Zimmer on the vote of confidence he's received from his players that he's the right man to lead this team: "Honestly, it doesn't really mean that much. I never had any doubt that anybody was not supporting me or anything like that. I think if you look over the five-year track record, but unfortunately, this is a what-did-you-do-for-me-now."

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

The sudden death of Vikings OL coach Tony Sparano "really kind of threw things into a little bit of a downward spiral," according to Mike Zimmer, "only because the fact this guy was a type-A personality, he was very innovative in the running game and had a strong voice in that room and a strong voice with me. Yeah, I do feel like we lost a bit of our identity. We're going to get that back."

Team Stats

Passing Yards252.313th
Rushing Yards93.330th
Points For22.519th
Points Against21.39th