Stefanski had second interview for Browns’ head position on day Vikings contract expired
Kevin Stefanski’s contract expired Tuesday, Jan. 8, and his future with the Minnesota Vikings is uncertain.
Stefanski, who concluded the season as interim offensive coordinator, had a second interview in Cleveland for the Browns’ head coaching position, a source said. NFL Media reported the two finalists for the Cleveland job are Stefanski and Browns offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens.
The Vikings have interest in retaining Stefanski as offensive coordinator. But Stefanski, if he does not get the Browns’ head coaching job, has become free to talk to any team about any opening. He is expected to look at all options available.
Stefanski, in his 13th Vikings season as an assistant, began 2018 as quarterbacks coach before being promoted on an interim basis to offensive coordinator when John DeFilippo was fired Dec. 11 with three games left in the season.
In three games with Stefanski calling the plays, the Vikings averaged 307.3 yards total offense after averaging 354.4 in the first 13 games. In Stefanski’s first game, they rolled up 418 yards, including a season-high 220 on the ground, in a 41-17 win over Miami. But in the season finale, they had a season-low 164 yards of total offense and suffered a 20-10 loss to Chicago that kept them out of the playoffs.
At his season-ending news conference last Thursday, head coach Mike Zimmer said Stefanski did “a good job” in “a tough situation’’ but that he was “looking at all kind of options” for offensive coordinator.
Zimmer is entering the final year of his contract, which he has said is fine with him. However, his contract status could play a role in which coordinator candidates have interest.
Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards interviewed Friday for Tampa Bay's head coaching position, but the Buccaneers settled Tuesday on Bruce Arians for the job. Edwards remains under contract with the Vikings in 2019.
Sirius XM NFL Radio reported last week that although special-teams coordinator Mike Priefer has an expiring contract, both sides are working toward him being re-signed.
Adam Zimmer named East-West coach
Vikings linebackers coach Adam Zimmer was named head coach of the West team for the East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 19 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. He is the son of Mike Zimmer.
Coaching the West in the game involving top college seniors will be Carolina Panthers defensive line coach Sam Mills III.
Edwards was a head coach in the East-West Shrine Game in 2017 and brought three Minnesota assistants with him. That provided additional opportunities for close evaluations of players the Vikings were considering drafting or signing as free agents.