Chad O’Shea, who has served as an offensive assistant with the Vikings since 2006, has been promoted to assistant special teams coach. O’Shea will move into the role previously held by Brian Murphy, who was promoted to special teams coordinator this week. O’Shea’s primary responsibilities with the Vikings had revolved around assisting wide receivers coach George Stewart and he will continue to help in that area.
O’Shea previously helped with special teams while coaching with the Kansas City Chiefs from 2003-05. “He has a passion for it, he understands it, he’s good at it,” Vikings coach Brad Childress said. “I don’t want him to lose a voice with us on offense because he still has a passion on the offensive side and he’s good as an assistant to George. … I feel good about it. I feel good about Murph being the lead and Chad being his assistant.”
Childress said he expects the special teams will ”get a fresh perspective” with Murphy now running special teams. The Vikings’ special teams gave up an NFL record seven touchdowns this past season under coordinator Paul Ferraro, who left to become the linebackers coach for St. Louis.
Childress stood behind Ferraro at the end of the season but he did not block Ferraro from interviewing for the Rams job. Childress could have done so because Ferraro had a year left on his contract. “I would say this,” Childress explained. “Murph has a passion for wanting to become a special teams coach and there’s something to that. Paul, before he got [to the NFL with the Panthers in 2005], was a defensive coordinator and a linebackers coach who was coaching special teams at Carolina. I think he, in the long run, wanted to do that.”
As for defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier being a potential candidate to interview for the Chiefs head coaching job, Childress said he is not aware of any movement between Kansas City and Frazier. “Not to my knowledge right now and I saw him before I came over here,” Childress said. “But, you know, it’s always fluid.” (Update: Fox’s Jay Glazer is reporting Arizona offensive coordinator Todd Haley has accepted the head coaching job in Kansas City.)
Childress, Vikings President Mark Wilf, linebacker Ben Leber and several members of the team’s front office were in attendance at the University of Minnesota’s Eastcliff Residence on Thursday night to celebrate the 30-year anniversary of the Minnesota Vikings Children’s Fund partnership with the university’s department of pediatrics and children’s hospital.
Childress is on the board of the Vikings Children’s Fund. “It’s so easy,” to help, said Childress, who was in attendance with his wife Dru-Ann. “Anytime you can do something for kids. Whether it’s special needs kids, my daughter teaches special needs, they’re just …. we’re more fortunate and it’s easy for us to give back. Sometimes the hardest thing is to give your time.”
A few other Vikings notes:
– Childress said the team’s situation at quarterback remains fluid. The Vikings coaching and front-office staff have been putting in long days preparing for free agency and the April draft, but it’s unclear which direction the team might go when it comes to addressing the quarterback position. “We’re still turning over everything,” Childress said. “We just did our roster and looking through the free agents and looking through the restructure, cut, trade guys. You look at all that stuff. But I have not spoken to Tarvaris [Jackson] nor have I spoken to Gus [Frerotte] yet.”
– Childress said Jackson is not being asked to get involved in Mixed Martial Arts. We reported on this blog that Fox’s Jay Glazer, who is very involved in MMA, said on a New York radio station recently that Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell had asked about possibly having Jackson do some MMA training.
– Defensive end Kenechi Udeze, who missed last season after being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, is doing well and has said his goal is to return for the Vikings’ offseason program. Childress doesn’t doubt that Udeze will be back. “Nothing that he does will surprise me,” Childress said. “I expect him to get back and be there the first day of OTAs because that’s his expectation.”
– The Vikings still likely will make a hire to replace defensive line assistant Brendan Daly, who left to become the Rams’ defensive line coach.
– By the way, you’ve probably seen by now that the Patriots placed the franchise tag on quarterback Matt Cassel today. The interesting thing is that Cassel was given the non-exclusive franchise tag, meaning New England can shop the quarterback to a team such as the Vikings. Whether the Vikings would be willing to pay the Patriots asking price (think draft picks) is another question but, keep in mind, Jared Allen was given the non-exclusive franchise tag by the Chiefs last offseason and the standout defensive end eventually ended up in purple. Thursday was the first day that teams could designate franchise and transition players.