Welcome to Around the Horns, our daily look at what's happening on the Vikings beat:
The last time the Minnesota Vikings faced the Buffalo Bills in a regular-season game, battering a 2-10 team at the Metrodome in the final game before the stadium's roof collapsed, George Edwards was in his first season as the Bills' defensive coordinator, presiding over a 3-4 scheme that allowed the fifth-most points in the league in 2010 and the third-most in 2011.
Edwards was fired after two seasons on the job, heading to Miami to work as a linebackers coach under Mike Zimmer disciple Kevin Coyle before eventually joining Zimmer in Minnesota. He'll get to make his return trip to Buffalo this weekend as the Vikings' defensive coordinator, and he won't be the only member of the Vikings' or Bills' coaching staffs that held a prominent role with the team he's now facing.
Defensive backs coach Jerry Gray was the Bills' defensive coordinator years before Edwards, running Buffalo's defenses from 2001-05 and coordinating the league's second-best defenses in 2003 and 2004. And Bills linebackers coach Fred Pagac was the Vikings' first defensive coordinator under Leslie Frazier, serving in that role during the 2011 season before Frazier reassigned him to coach linebackers.
Bills offensive line coach Pat Morris was in the same job with the Vikings from 2006-10, and Buffalo quarterbacks coach Todd Downing also worked for the team under Mike Tice; the Eden Prairie native and the University of Minnesota graduate was a football systems analyst and offensive quality control assistant from 2003-05.That's quite a bit of shared history for teams in different conferences that don't see each other often (apart from the occasional preseason game), but both the Vikings and Bills have churned through head coaches in recent years; the Vikings have had four in the last 10 years, while the Bills are on their fifth in that time (counting interim coach Perry Fewell in 2009). That means both teams have spent a fair amount of time rifling through coaching candidates, and it means several coaches can count both cities as stops on their individual coaching tours through the NFL.In case you missed it on ESPN.com:
Teddy Bridgewater, Antone Exum, Jerome Felton and Everson Griffen attended the Vikings' fourth annual Breast Cancer Awareness luncheon on Tuesday, to share stories of how the disease -- and triumph over it -- has affected members of their families.
Our offensive film review looked at the trouble the Vikings had protecting Bridgewater on Sunday against the Lions.
Our defensive film review chronicled what turned out to be a solid day for the Vikings' defense.
And in this week's installment of The Film Don't Lie, we examined what it will take to get the Vikings' running game working.
Best of the rest:
Mike Zimmer needs the Vikings to develop along with Bridgewater, writes Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
The Vikings climbed from 13th to 12th in a Harris Poll ranking of the NFL's most popular teams, Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com writes.