Ferraro's departure continues bloodletting

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
Minnesota special-teams coordinator Paul Ferraro has officially left the Vikings and joined St. Louis, according to Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune. But he's not leaving to be the Rams' special-teams coach.

Ferraro will be the Rams' linebackers coach under new head coach Steve Spagnuolo, a college teammate and longtime friend. The move actually puts Ferraro in a position more commensurate with his expertise. Prior to joining the Vikings in 2006, Ferraro had spent only one season as a special-teams coach at any level. For most of his career, he had been a college-level defensive coach.

The Vikings did some good things on special teams in 2008 but ultimately will be remembered for giving up an NFL-record seven touchdowns. Assistant special-teams coach Brian Murphy is one candidate to take over the group.

Thursday's news extends a tumultuous run of turnover for NFC North coordinators. Nearly half of the 12 men who finished the 2008 season as an offensive, defensive or special-teams coordinator are no longer in the same job. Here's the tally:

Fired outright

  • Detroit defensive coordinator Joe Barry

  • Green Bay defensive coordinator Bob Sanders


  • Minnesota special-teams coordinator Paul Ferraro


  • Green Bay special-teams coordinator Mike Stock


  • Chicago defensive coordinator Bob Babich*

  • Detroit offensive coordinator Jim Colletto+

Under review

  • Detroit special-teams coordinator Stan Kwan

* Retained his title but will also coach linebackers and won't call defensive signals during games.
+ Reassigned to offensive line coach.