Insider Links Vikings to Super Bowl-Winning Head Coach for ‘Simple Reason’

Kevin O'Connell, Minnesota Vikings

Getty Head coach Kevin O'Connell of the Minnesota Vikings.

The Minnesota Vikings are 20-14 in two seasons under Head Coach Kevin O’Connell. Their 13-4 mark in his first season at the helm in 2022 bolsters his record.

There has been nothing to suggest that he is on the hot seat entering 2024. But a repeat performance of this past season in which the Vikings went 7-10, coupled with an opportunity for what could be viewed as an upgrade, might mean there’s more pressure on O’Connell than meets the eye.

Bill Belichick apparently will go 0-for-7 when it comes to finding a head-coaching job in 2024,” Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio wrote on January 28. “If, as it appears, nothing materializes in Seattle or Washington or elsewhere, what will happen in 2025?”

Florio lists the Vikings along with the Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers as potential landing spots for Belichick.

“The Vikings are there for a very simple reason,” Florio continued. “Owner Zygi Wilf was a huge Giants fan before buying the Vikings. It’s not crazy to envision Zygi and Mark Wilf becoming smitten with the idea of giving Belichick a chance to take the just-good-enough Vikings to the top of the mountain the franchise has been trying to climb for more than 50 years.”

Belichick stepped down after 24 seasons with the New England Patriots on January 11.

Ownership’s stance on wanting to be a “family-oriented” organization might buy O’Connell time. But Belichick’s resume, which includes six Super Bowl wins, is arguably unmatched in NFL history, and certainly among the potential 2025 crop of head coaching candidates.

The Vikings could face the same issues that cropped up during this hiring cycle, though.

Would Vikings Replace Kevin O’Connell, Give Bill Belichick Full Football Control?

Bill Belichick, Minnesota Vikings

GettyNew England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

“The question of control will continue to hover over Belichick’s prospects,” Florio wrote. “Will he want the keys to the football operation? If so, will an owner be prepared to clear out and/or reassign the existing staff in order to accommodate Belichick?

The late Dennis Green was the last Vikings head coach to also act as general manager. It is more common to see head coaches have a say in who the general manager will be. Even that is rare.

Belichick struggled in recent years to identify and develop talent adequately, according to Florio. An obvious potential pitfall with the Patriots going 12-22 over the last two seasons with Belichick in charge of both aspects. Florio believes that anything less than full control could lead to “full-blown chaos” with Belichick in his next stop.

But even that could align for the better in terms of Belichick coaching the Vikings in 2025.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah Was Under Fire Early in 2023 Season

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Minnesota Vikings

GettyGeneral manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah of the Minnesota Vikings.

After a rough first draft class, General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah was under scrutiny early this past season following the team’s 1-4 start. They went on to win four of Kirk Cousins’ final five starts before a torn Achilles ended his – and essentially the Vikings’ – season.

Adofo-Mensah’s second draft class also failed to make a significant impact in their first go in the NFL.

Another lackluster class combined with a poor season could see the Vikings clean house.

If that happens, ownership could still view hiring Belichick as the clearest path to competing for a championship. Then it could come down to whether or not there is enough interest from Belichick to take the job.