One day after introducing a new general manager, the Minnesota Vikings' search for a new head coach has evolved, with multiple reports saying the Vikings will interview New York Giants defensive coordinator Pat Graham for the job.
Remember, earlier this week Vikings owner Mark Wilf said the team had completed its first round of interviews with head coaching candidates, so Graham is clearly a guy that Adofo-Mensah is interested in talking with. That much has basically been confirmed by NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, who says Adofo-Mensah is a "big fan" of Graham.
Right off the bat, one thing Graham and GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah have in common is that they are Ivy Leaguers. Adofo-Mensah went to Stanford and then Princeton to study economics, while Graham went to Yale, where he earned his degree in sociology with a focus in economics and African American studies.
Graham could also be considered part of the Bill Belichick coaching tree. The 43-year-old was with the Patriots from 2009-15, mostly coaching linebackers and defensive linemen. The Giants hired him as their D-line coach in 2016 before he took a job with the Packers as linebackers coach, which led to a season in Miami as defensive coordinator. He returned to New York as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator in 2019.
"I think Pat Graham is one of the best defensive coordinators out there. His ability to design a game and understand and adjust throughout the game has been amazing throughout the whole season," said Giants linebacker Blake Martinez after a 30-10 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in November.
For the record, the Giants allowed more than 400 yards of total offense in that game.
But it's hard to pin a bottom-tier defense on Graham because the Giants were 31st in total offense and scoring offense, meaning the defense was constantly on the field and in bad situations. Graham also was without a bunch of starters due to injuries and COVID-19, including Martinez, Jabrill Peppers, Logan Ryan, Adoree' Jackson and Lorenzo Carter.
The Vikings have also interviewed Todd Bowles, Jonathan Gannon, Nathaniel Hackett, Kellen Moore, Raheem Morris, Kevin O’Connell, Dan Quinn, and DeMeco Ryans. The Broncos hired Hackett and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has said he expects both Quinn and Moore to remain with Dallas.