Monday, January 22, 2007

CozBohl to the Vikings???

The Minneapolis newspapers are reporting that Kevin Cosgrove is a candidate to replace Mike Tomlin as defensive coordinator of the Vikings. Is Cosgrove a serious candidate or are they just dropping as many names they can come up with?

Personally, I'm not sure I understand the Vikings interest in Cosgrove, especially based on his record as an very average defensive coordinator in college football. Wisconsin's defenses under Cosgrove weren't terribly impressive, which made folks question why Nebraska hired him, except for Cosgrove's buddy relationship with Callahan. Perhaps Callahan felt an obligation to Cosgrove, or maybe they just wanted to work together again. You always want to work with people you like and feel most comfortable with, no matter what your occupation is. The change worked out well for Wisconsin, as Cosgrove's replacement, Bret Bielema went on to lead an impressive turnaround with the Badger defense... so impressive that Barry Alvarez felt that he had found his successor as head coach.

So why would the Vikings want to hire Cosgrove? That's a good question, and it probably goes back to the comfort factor. Vikings head coach Brad Childress worked with Cosgrove (and Callahan at Wisconsin). Perhaps Childress (and Callahan) have seen something in Cosgrove that hasn't been apparant in Cosgrove's defenses over the last 7 years or so. Nebraska's defense has looked ok (actually, pretty good) at times (see the Cotton Bowl against Auburn)... but downright awful at other times.

Could the Vikings be the answer to many Husker fans' prayers? Certainly Wisconsin found out you can do better than Kevin Cosgrove. When I reflect on Nebraska's defensive coordinators over the years, Cosgrove ranks near the bottom of the list:
  1. Monte Kiffin
  2. Charlie McBride
  3. Bo Pelini
  4. Lance Van Zandt
  5. Kevin Cosgrove
  6. Craig Bohl
However, I wouldn't get my hopes up that the Vikings will take Cosgrove off our hands. I think the media up in the Twin Cities is grasping for names, and the Vikings' interest in Cosgrove last year makes that an easy connection to make. I kind of expect this rumor to die out in the next few days...

But it doesn't hurt to dream a little, doesn't it???

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