The Minnesota Vikings fired offensive coordinator John DeFilippo on Tuesday, the culmination of a season of ineffectiveness on offense. The Vikings are scuffling along after investing a sizable chunk of change in Kirk Cousins this past offseason, and at some point, someone was going to get thrown under the bus.
Quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski has been promoted to interim OC to close out the season. He’ll get a chance to prove his worth with a team that still holds the second wild card berth in the NFC. But if the Vikings decide to look for other options, one name that could end up on their radar is San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello.
Kyle Shanahan serves as his own offensive coordinator, but his position assistants get plenty of responsibility. Scangarello is getting some well-deserved buzz with the emergence of Nick Mullens as a decent quarterback. NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero tweeted that Scangarello’s name is circulating as a potential OC candidate this offseason.
Amidst backup QB struggles elsewhere, worth noting #49ers third-stringer Nick Mullens has a 93.5 passer rating (higher than Mariota, Mayfield, Trubisky, Stafford, et al.). A credit to Kyle Shanahan as well as QB coach Rich Scangarello, whose name is circulating as an OC candidate— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) December 10, 2018
We don’t know enough about the inner-workings of the 49ers to know who is responsible for what beyond their job title. That being said, it’s not surprising Scangarello would get some love for his work since Jimmy Garoppolo got hurt.
It is also worth noting that Kyle Shanahan could choose to prevent Scangarello from interviewing for other jobs. A team cannot stop an assistant from interviewing for a head coach job, but they can deny a chance to interview for a coordinator or position coach job. I don’t think we would see Shanahan do that though, because there is value in showing future assistant candidates that you will let your assistants better themselves.
Given that Shanahan is in charge of the offense, it would not necessarily be the biggest sacrifice to find another quarterbacks coach. That’s not to denigrate the work Scangarello does, but rather, to say that it’s not like Shanahan is a defensive mind who will need to find a new offensive-minded assistant. It’s an area of strength for Shanahan, and so potentially easier to be willing to part ways.
The 49ers coaching staff is settled for the most part heading into the final three games of the season, but promotions and departures are possible. I would not expect many changes, but Scangarello will be one to keep an eye on in January.