Minnesota Vikings Make Coaching Changes Before Start of Camp
The Minnesota Vikings have announced some coaching changes before training camp opens tomorrow.
Late last week news started to break of Viking offensive line coach Rick Dennison being fired from the team because of his unwillingness to get the COVID-19 vaccine, NFL rules for this season state that, "Tier 1 and 2 employees (excluding players) "should be expected to be vaccinated unless they have a bona fide medical or religious ground for not doing so."
Shortly after the news broke, the Vikings released a statement saying that Dennison was still with the organization. Today, the team announced how they are keeping Dennison and still staying within the NFL COVID rules, he's taking a different job.
Dennison will now be the Senior Offensive Advisor and be able to work his job remotely, he will help the team look a game film, come up with game plans each week, and advise the other coaches, among other duties I'm sure.
Replacing Dennison is his assistant from last season, Phil Rauscher, and replacing him as assistant offensive line coach is Ben Steele, he spent last season as the Tight Ends coach in Atlanta.
Head Coach Mike Zimmer did his first in person press conference in some time, and briefly addressed the issue saying that him and Dennison had been in discussion for a few months about his status before eventually making this move, so the problem wasn't a surprise to the team. Both Mike Zimmer and team General Manager Rick Spielman said "they wanted to find a way Dennison could continue to help the team and apply his decades of experience."
One of other Dennison's other jobs with the Vikings was as "Run Game Coordinator," Zimmer said in his press conference that the job will be a collective job this season and no one additional will be added to fill that very specific role.