Hartman: Vikings offensive line coach deserves an interview

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 10, 2014 - 11:13 AM

Jeff Davidson is just as qualified as those who are interviewing for the head coaching spot.

The Vikings have been interviewing a number of assistant coaches for their head coaching vacancy, including Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton, Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

But is there any reason that any of the assistant coaches mentioned above would be a better head coaching prospect than current Vikings offensive line coach Jeff Davidson?

His coaching résumé is as good as or better than any of the candidates mentioned.

Davidson was the Patriots’ assistant offensive line coach when they won the Super Bowl in 2001 and tight ends coach when they won in 2003 and 2004. One of the big reasons for the Patriots’ success was the protection plan put in by Davidson, leaving Tom Brady all sorts of time to throw. He learned a lot under Bill Belichick in New England from 1998-2004, and he also helped resurrect the career of Corey Dillon when he rushed for 1,635 yards in 2004.

He then went to Cleveland in 2005-06 when Romeo Crennel was hired away from the Patriots.

He was hired by Carolina to be offensive coordinator under John Fox from 2007-2010. Fox was looking to improve the Panthers’ running game, and Davidson had gotten a strong recommendation for the job by Charlie Weiss, another former Patriots assistant who was then Notre Dame’s head coach.

The Panthers went 7-9 in Davidson’s first season as offensive coordinator, but in 2008 they improved to 12-4, tying a franchise record, and won the NFC South. That season Davidson’s offensive line produced the most rushing touchdowns in the NFL with 30 and finished third in yards with 2,437. DeAngelo Williams did the bulk of the work, rushing for 1,515 yards on 5.5 yards per carry.

Davidson came to the Vikings in 2011, and his offensive line led the way for Adrian Peterson to rush for 2,097 yards in 2012.

That means that Davidson has led the offensive line for three of the best rushing seasons in NFL history — Peterson’s is second all-time, Dillon’s mark is good for 45th all-time, and Williams’ numbers are the 75th-best single-season mark.

Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman must also have high regard for Davidson because when the Atlanta Falcons asked for permission to talk to him about his interest in their offensive line coaching job, Spielman turned them down.

That might be the reason that former Vikings offensive line and head coach Mike Tice was hired as the new Falcons line coach this week.

Memo to Spielman: Take a vote of the offensive linemen and they’ll be unanimous for Davidson.

Fisher has connection

USA Today recently carried a story that involved Jimbo Fisher, the coach of Florida State, this year’s national championship winner. It turns out that Fisher has a connection with the University of Minnesota. Jimbo’s 8-year-old son, Ethan, has Fanconi anemia, a serious blood disease that at present doesn’t have a cure. The University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital is the country’s top research center for FA, and once a year Ethan has to visit the local FA center for a bone marrow biopsy. The procedures are critical as FA eventually causes bone marrow failure that would require a transplant and can cause cancer.

Gophers coach Jerry Kill said he and his wife, Rebecca, visited the Fishers when they were here.

“I was there when he came, my wife and I,” he said. “I’ve been out of town, but when he first came I did see him. I basically met him on that day.”

Meanwhile, two of the outstanding Gophers assistants have ties to new Texas coach Charlie Strong but haven’t indicated any notion of leaving Kill. Jay Sawvel was a graduate assistant at Notre Dame when Strong was the defensive line coach, and Bill Miller was assistant head coach and linebacking coach at Florida when Strong was the defensive coordinator there in 2003-04.

SB Nation.com has Gophers defensive lineman Ra’Shede Hageman being picked 17th in the NFL draft.

  • related content

  • Potential finalists emerge in Vikings coaching search

    Friday January 10, 2014

    The Vikings coaching search continues to take shape as two candidates are thought to be favorites

  • Harrison Smith (22) celebrated his third quarter interception with head coach Leslie Frazier and defensive line coach Jeff Davidson during NFL action between the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field Sunday September 15, 2013 in Chicago , IL. Chicago beat Minnesota 31-30 ] JERRY HOLT • jerry.holt@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Team Irvin 32 FINAL
Team Carter 28
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 110 FINAL
Toronto 114
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
San Antonio 101
Boston 111 FINAL
Golden State 114
Washington 117 FINAL
Denver 115
Houston 99 FINAL
LA Lakers 87
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
NJIT 72 FINAL
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 67 FINAL
Maryland 68
Washington 56 FINAL
Utah 77
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
UMBC 42
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
UCF 61 FINAL
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
UCLA 57
(11) Stanford 71 FINAL
USC 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who will win the Super Bowl?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close