Seahawks defensive tackle Kevin Williams wasn’t the only former member of the Vikings’ defensive line room to land face up looking at the sunshine of success after losing his job in Minnesota a year ago at this time.
Before talking to Williams during Seattle’s Super Bowl media day on Tuesday, we bumped into former Vikings defensive line coach Brendan Daly, who is a defensive assistant with the Patriots.
“You just want easier access than you’re getting over there with Tom [Brady],” Daly joked when he saw a familiar face approaching.
Indeed. The one-on-one did feel more comfortable than the one-on-1,000 over by Tom’s area inside the U.S. Airways Center.
Daly had two stints with the Vikings. His first one as assistant defensive line coach lasted from 2006-08. The second one as defensive line coach lasted from 2012 until Leslie Frazier and most of his staff was fired after last season.
So how did he get fired in Minnesota and end up with a model franchise making its sixth Super Bowl appearance since 2001.
“It just kind of happened, and I’m fortunate it did,” Daly said. “I knew a couple of people on staff who knew Bill, and they had an opening. It’s funny how things work in this league. One minute, you’re out of work wondering what’s going to happen to you. The next minute, you’re standing at the Super Bowl.”
One of those connections was Patriots assistant Chad O’Shea, who had worked with Daly during his first stint with the Vikings. Another was Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, whom he worked with in St. Louis.
Daly said Tuesday that he met with Mike Zimmer before he was let go.
“I have tremendous respect for Mike and all that he has done in this league,” Daly said. “He went in a different direction, and that’s fine. That happens. It’s a business. I’m happy with where I am.”
Daly also said he had yet to connect with Williams at the Super Bowl. The two not only worked together in Minnesota, Daly, a 17-year coaching veteran, also coached Williams at Oklahoma State.
“I’m extremely happy for Kevin,” Daly said. “There’s no better guy in the league. Tremendous player, tremendous leader in the locker room. A quiet leader. I wish him the best of luck, except for on Sunday. I don’t want him to win on Sunday.”