Besides defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, who is scheduled to interview with the Miami Dolphins for their head coach vacancy, Vikings defensive backs coach Joe Woods also generated early interest from another team when the season ended.
The division-rival Detroit Lions asked for and received permission to talk to Woods, although it isn’t entirely clear what position he was discussing. Woods worked with Lions head coach Rod Marinelli and defensive coordinator Joe Barry while all three were assistants in Tampa Bay, so it appears he felt compelled to at least sit down with his former colleagues. But in the end, Woods has reportedly decided to stay with the Vikings.
Reports from other league sources have told VU that Woods is an excellent coach with rising star potential in the coaching ranks. Watching him work on the practice field would also seem to bear that out, as well.
In fact, in a conversation with Bucs defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin back when the Vikings hired Woods, Kiffin went out his way to praise Woods, who worked for him as a quality control assistant, and predicted bigger things for him eventually.
Woods initially came to the Vikings along with Mike Tomlin from the Buccaneers. He just completed his second season with Minnesota. While their overall pass defense has remained mediocre, Woods deserves a lot of credit for the development of Cedric Griffin, who started as a rookie, as well as the emergence of rookie Marcus McCauley this season as he filled in for injured veteran Antoine Winfield.
As a rookie, McCauley ended up starting nine of 16 games played this season and finished with 64 total tackles and 8 passes defensed.
His entire group is well coached and have a lot of camaraderie as a unit, which is a reflection of his demeanor on the practice field.