Shaw Saw the End Coming

The end for Willie Shaw as Vikings defensive coordinator had all the makings of a "Sopranos" season finale.

In the end, the demise of Willie Shaw had all the makings of an episode of "The Sopranos." He was the defensive captain seeing his authority undercut by a member of his own crew -- who happened to have close personal ties for years with the Boss.

The captain and the boss butt heads over the captain's old-school ways. Meanwhile the crew member observes and starts consolidating power. Finally, when everyone is out of town so there will be no local witnesses, the hammer comes down and the captain gets whacked.

All that was missing was a discussion at the Club Bada Bing! and James Gandolfini would have accepted the role of Mike Tice. It may sound strange, but it was true.

After Shaw's firing, VU was told that Tice wanted to make O'Leary his defensive coordinator immediately after he was flipped from Notre Dame for resume offenses. O'Leary said no and sat in waiting, coaching the defensive line and taking in the rest of the defensive talent from a distance. It would seem that Tice and O'Leary both knew what was going to happen and, toward the end, so did Shaw.

* Randy Moss still has soreness and swelling for a strained MCL suffered in the season finale. He continues to get treatment but may miss the Pro Bowl.

Viking Update Top Stories