Minnesota Vikings veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson is a pending free agent this offseason, but the eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback and team leader has maintained his desire to stay in Minnesota.
Whether that becomes a reality or not will hinge on who the Vikings hire on as the franchise’s new general manager and head coach.
Peterson recently weighed his future prospects with the team and threw in his two cents of who’d he like to see as Minnesota’s next head coach.
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Peterson Calls for Super-Bowl Pedigree in Minnesota
On the All Things Covered podcast, Peterson and his cousin and co-host Bryant McFadden broke down the candidates he would like to see take over as the Vikings’ head coach.
His gut-reaction was Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, but if Minnesota would like to stay with a defensive-minded head coach, he was also high on the Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles — both of which were on staff for Tampa’s 2020 Super Bowl run.
“I would love to see Lefty (Leftwich) get a coaching opportunity, Byron. If they want to go defense again, I would love to see coach Bowles. If they want to go defense again, I would love to see (Bowles),” Peterson said. “With the history of Minnesota, they always tend to pick defensive-minded coaches. If they go that route, I think Bowles would be a great pick. Just not only what he was able to do the last two seasons, but his resume as far as his defense in general.”
Peterson is familiar with their coaching styles and personalities, playing under both coordinators during his time with the Arizona Cardinals. He added that he thinks former Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl-winning coach Doug Pederson would also make a good head coach in Minnesota.
Pederson has a confirmed interview with the Vikings.
Peterson previewed his free-agency process, which he hopes is short-lived given the talent on the Vikings roster.
“I wouldn’t mind,” Peterson said on returning to Minnesota. “Ultimately, it’s going to come down to getting a new head coach. For the most part, new head coaches come in and tear up the whole scene. Why would you want to tear up this team? This is probably the most talented team that has a coaching vacancy.”
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Bruce Arians’ Very Pissed’ Leftwich Isn’t an HC
While many teams could be territorial over rising talent in their coaching ranks, the Buccaneers have been preparing for Leftwich to move onto the next step in his career.
Head coach Bruce Arians admitted he was “very, very pissed” that Leftwich did not get any interviews in the 2021 offseason, touting that Leftwich deserves a head coaching job in the NFL.
“I was very, very pissed that Byron didn’t at least get an interview this year,” Arians said, per Pro Football Talk. “For the job that he’s done… I think I get way too much credit and so does Tom Brady for the job that Byron has done. Hopefully next year people will see that he took Jameis Winston and broke every single record here, scoring and passing, and now Tom has broken both. He’s done a fantastic job, he’s everything supposedly what people are looking for, although this year was kind of a defensive cycle.”
Leftwich is a former first-round quarterback that started his coaching career with the Cardinals as an offensive assistant in 2016. He rose to interim offensive coordinator in 2018 before holding the position in Tampa Bay in 2019.
Leftwich’s high-octane offenses helped Jameis Winston throw for 5,109 yards. While Winston’s decision-making and overly aggressiveness led to 30 interceptions that seasons.
But with a veteran quarterback in Brady, Leftwich has helped the 44-year-old reach new heights. Brady posted the most pass completions (485) and the third-most passing yards (5,316) in NFL history — both of which are career-highs for Brady.
Whichever candidate the Vikings make as their new head coach, they’ll inherit an offense with an arsenal of weapons — the type firepower Leftwich has harnessed with the Buccaneers.