New hires point to direction of Vikings

The Vikings announced the hiring of two more position coaches on Thursday, giving a clue to the direction of the offense in 2011.

The Vikings continued to round out their coaching staff Thursday, adding two more coaches to the staff – quarterbacks coach Craig Johnson, offensive line coach Jeff Davidson – and making a position move with another, sending former defensive line assistant to assist with the offensive line.

Johnson comes to the Vikings after 11 years with the Tennessee Titans. He spent last season as the running backs coach in Tennessee after spending the previous eight seasons as quarterbacks coach – which some may interpret as a sign that the Vikings may be interested in cutting a deal to get Vince Young. If nothing else, they will be sure to have an informed opinion if they do have any interest in adding Young to the roster.

Head coach Leslie Frazier said Johnson has done a good job developing quarterbacks with the Titans.

Davidson spent the last four years as the offensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers. Prior to that he spent two years with the Browns and eight seasons with New England, where he was part of three Super Bowl-winning teams. He brings 16 years of NFL coaching experience with him and, given the emphasis the running game had in Carolina in recent years with the tandem of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, he is expected to help make the Vikings run offense as potent as Adrian Peterson can make it.

"They did a terrific job in the run game, which has been his forte going back to his time as a player, as an offensive lineman in our league and then coaching with New England and then Cleveland before he got to Carolina," Frazier said of Davidson. "One of the things that I really like about Jeff was the fact that they were able to find a way with DeAngelo Williams along with Jonathan Stewart to have two 1,000-yard rushers in the same backfield. As you know, we have two outstanding backs in our minds with Adrian being the premier back in the National Football League and then with Toby Gerhart, who is a guy we have high hopes for."

Silverfield is a home-grown talent who has spent the last three seasons as an assistant – the last two years working with the defensive line. His move to offensive line will be a first for him.

The Vikings continue to build the new-look coaching staff that some may point to as a clue in the direction the team is going. If Wednesday's hiring of Mike Singletary signals a new approach to the Vikings defense, it would seem that Thursday's hirings may be indicative of the future of the offense – utilizing Adrian Peterson with an eye toward developing a quarterback of the future.


  • The word didn't sound overly promising Thursday regarding discussion of the still-torn Metrodome roof. Ted Mondale, the new head of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission said that repairing the roof could take five or six months with work not starting until February at the earliest. As a result, the Vikings preseason (or beyond) could be affected – perhaps resulting in the team being scheduled to play its first two preseason games on the road to assure the roof can be repaired in time.

  • The cost of repairing the dome roof could be as much as $6 million. Replacing it could cost $15 million.

  • As expected, Darrell Bevell accepted a two-year contract to become the new offensive coordinator in Seattle Thursday.

    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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