The Minnesota Vikings fired head coach Mike Zimmer on Monday morning, per reports. As a replacement hire, the Vikings should give serious consideration to Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.
The Vikings had the same head coach, Zimmer, for eight seasons and they are looking for a new head coach for the first time since 2013. Zimmer was a defensive specialist and it showed in his comfortability as a head coach. Zimmer leaned more on the defense throughout his tenure drafting players like Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr, while letting the quarterback position take a back seat in importance.
The Vikings also fired general manager Rick Spielman, which means they will probably hire a general manager before they hire a head coach. Whoever is the next general manager for the Vikings needs to hire someone with a strong intelligence of the game. Bieniemy would be the perfect hire for the Vikings because of his familiarity running high-level offenses in college football and the NFL.
Bieniemy would bring a different outlook to the Vikings because he has the skillset to recalibrate an offense that underperformed in 2021. Talent was not an issue for the Vikings, but they were too inconsistent on offense with being able to close out games.
With weapons like Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook, and Kirk Cousins, Bieniemy will be able to revamp this team’s offensive structure. He can turn the Vikings into one of the most efficient offenses in the NFL.
Since 2013, Bieniemy has worked for the Chiefs on Andy Reid’s coaching staff. In 2018, he shifted from being the running backs coach to the offensive coordinator, and that move paid dividends for the Chiefs. They made it to the AFC Championship in his first season and then appeared in back-to-back Super Bowls in 2019 and 2020. Under his guidance, quarterback Patrick Mahomes became the league’s premier quarterback in less than two seasons.
Bieniemy will be able to get Cousins on the same page as the offense and finish games the right way on offense. The Vikings failed to win close games this season and their next head coach will be expected to do what Zimmer was unable to do. The Vikings have a chance to turn the franchise around immediately and Bieniemy is the right candidate to bring them back to the playoffs.