Minnesota Vikings, NCAA Football

NFL insider has dark horse SEC candidate for Vikings head coaching job

As the Minnesota Vikings contemplate the future of their franchise, an offensive-minded coach from the SEC may provide an answer to their quest.

There’s no mystery as to why Mike Zimmer was promptly fired from his position on Black Monday, but his successor remains an enigma without a clear frontrunner for the position.

However, NFL insiders are reporting that the Vikings front office is looking at college coaches as they consider a candidate with storied NFL roots: Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin.

PFF analyst and former Vikings legal intern Brad Spielberger, as well as Dan Le Batard Show executive producer Michael Ryan Ruiz both indicated on Monday that they’d already heard such reports. Understandably, Vikings Twitter is already in a frenzy considering how Kiffin could fit into their team’s imminent future.

Vikings rumors: Could Lane Kiffin be a fit at head coach?

The Kiffin name is an integral part of modern football, as Lane Kiffin’s father, Monte Kiffin, is widely considered to be one of the greatest defensive coordinators of all time. NFL defensive legends such as Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll credit their ingenuity to Monte Kiffin. Carroll’s Cover 3 defense is modeled after Monte Kiffin’s, and the popular Tampa 2 defense that helped Tampa Bay win the Super Bowl in 2003 was developed in part by Monte Kiffin.

Lane Kiffin hasn’t seen the same success in the NFL, as he only coached for the Oakland Raiders during the 2007 season, where the Raiders went 4-12. However, it was partially due to relying on Jamarcus Russell, a quarterback pick regarded as one of the greatest draft busts of all time — and a decision that Kiffin vehemently opposed.

Despite his ugly departure from Oakland, Kiffin could return to the NFL with a resume replete with wins. Kiffin helped the Alabama Crimson Tide claim another National Championship win as their offensive coordinator in 2015, as well as a Conference USA title in 2017 and 2019 with the Florida Atlantic Owls. Kiffin then left to coach at Ole Miss, which culminated in an Egg Bowl win in 2021. The Rebels’ 10-2 record marked the first time the Mississippi school has finished the regular season with ten wins.

An ambitious career coach, Kiffin has demonstrated time and time again that he is willing to make an upward leap to a better position — and the Vikings have the makings of everything Kiffin needs to create another winning team.

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