Jim Souhan: San Diego could land its former coach a job today

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 4, 2007 - 12:31 AM

Another loss should push Zygi Wilf into action, dialing up Marty Schottenheimer before anyone else calls.

The Chargers arrive today without Marty Schottenheimer, and with a great chance of winning. They could be doing the Vikings two big favors.

A loss would better position the Vikings to land another high draft choice, and give them reason to land a new coach.

Schottenheimer went 14-2 coaching San Diego last year. He lost to the Patriots in the playoffs in part because a defensive back fumbled while returning an interception. Also because -- this just in -- the Patriots are pretty good.

The decision by the Chargers to fire Schottenheimer, one of the most consistent winners in modern football, could be the Vikings' windfall.

If the Chargers win today -- and that's the way to bet -- the Vikings will be 2-6 and well on their way to a four- or five-victory season, two years after the bare-bones, Love-Boat Vikings went 9-7 and three years after an underfunded, understaffed Vikings team won a playoff game.

If owner Zygi Wilf would hire Schottenheimer to coach the Vikings, and bring in a real general manager to oversee the football operation, Minnesota could be in the playoffs in a year or two.

Schottenheimer is known for MartyBall -- power running and strong defense. Having lost 13 of their past 17 under Brad Childress, the Vikings should be trying to play AnyoneElseBall.

Schottenheimer is known for losing playoff games. The current Vikings should have such problems. And, in retrospect, we should acknowledge that Schottenheimer lost a lot of close playoff games to superior teams. He also turned too conservative when he had superior teams, but if you're a Vikings fan today, that has to qualify as nitpicking.

The Vikings have two big problems -- muddy thinking in the front office, and muddy thinking on the sideline. The front office is led by Rick Spielman, who can take credit for having assembled two of the worst teams in football.

He was the director of player personnel of the Miami Dolphins from 2000 to 2003, and their GM in 2004. With the personnel he assembled, the 2007 Dolphins might be on their way to the first winless season in an NFL 16-game schedule.

With the Vikings, Spielman, along with Childress, has neglected the quarterback position, giving us a game of musical chairs in which nobody wants the music to stop.

If the Vikings are trying to win -- which is what they claimed in 2006 -- it takes a lot of self-delusion to neglect the offensive skill positions. If the Vikings are trying to rebuild -- the line they're selling now that winning looks hopeless -- it takes a lot of self-delusion to spend dozens of millions on veteran talent at other positions.

For all of its problems, this roster would suit Schottenheimer.

What Wilf should be thinking is that if there is going to be a rush on coaches at the end of the season, why not start shopping now? Why not hire Schottenheimer, who might be the best coach on the market, before Wilf faces competition?

When Childress took the job, he said he chose the Vikings because they offered the best chance to win right away. Schottenheimer should take the same view. With his coaching, the Vikings would be a competent quarterback and No. 1 receiver away from the playoffs. With a high pick in next year's draft, Schottenheimer could make an immediate and franchise-transforming impact, and improve Wilf's chances of acquiring stadium support.

Wilf's dream braintrust would probably include Bill Parcells, but he looked weary of coaching by the end of his Cowboys run. He'd make a great GM, though.

Schottenheimer is still full of vinegar and ambition, and available to run a team that is not as bad as it looks.

Jim Souhan can be heard Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon on AM-1500 KSTP. jsouhan@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cincinnati 0 Delayed
Baltimore 0
Boston 7 Top 5th Inning
NY Yankees 1
Detroit 1 Top 5th Inning
Cleveland 2
NY Mets 7 Top 5th Inning
Miami 5
Philadelphia 2 Top 6th Inning
Atlanta 0
Toronto 5 Bottom 4th Inning
Tampa Bay 2
Milwaukee 0 Top 2nd Inning
Chicago Cubs 4
LA Angels 0 Top 2nd Inning
Houston 3
Chicago WSox 3 Top 2nd Inning
Minnesota 2
Texas 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
Kansas City 0
Pittsburgh 1 Top 2nd Inning
St. Louis 0
San Francisco 0 Top 1st Inning
Colorado 0
Seattle - J. Paxton 9:05 PM
Oakland - S. Gray
Washington - D. Fister 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - C. Kershaw
Arizona - W. Miley 9:10 PM
San Diego - O. Despaigne
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Minnesota 9/7/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Cleveland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Oakland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Cincinnati 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Washington 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Tennessee 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
New England 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Tampa Bay
San Francisco 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Indianapolis 9/7/14 7:30 PM
Denver
NY Giants 9/8/14 6:10 PM
Detroit
San Diego 9/8/14 9:20 PM
Arizona
Miami-Florida 13 FINAL
(25) Louisville 31
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(7) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(19) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(18) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(23) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Washington
(14) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(13) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(15) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(7) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(17) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(21) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(15) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(12) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(16) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(9) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(21) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(8) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(11) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 9:00 PM
Phoenix

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many games will the Vikings win this season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close