EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings will have a new offensive line coach next season.
Coach Mike Zimmer said Tuesday morning he decided not to renew the contract of offensive line coach Jeff Davidson, after the Vikings gave up 45 sacks this season and allowed Teddy Bridgewater to be pressured more than any quarterback in the NFL, according to ESPN Stats and Information. Asked why he didn't renew Davidson's contract, Zimmer said, "I didn't want to."
Davidson joined the Vikings in 2011 on Leslie Frazier's staff and was one of four holdovers from Frazier's group to work for Zimmer, joining special teams coordinator Mike Priefer, wide receivers coach George Stewart and tight ends coach Kevin Stefanski. Zimmer said offensive coordinator Norv Turner will be back for the Vikings, who finished with the league's 29th-ranked offense and 31st-ranked passing game. Judging by the coaching moves, the Vikings seem to think their issues on the line were the major source of their offensive issues.
Zimmer said he wants competition across the "sporadic" offensive line, where right tackle Phil Loadholt and center John Sullivan will try to return from a torn Achilles and two low back surgeries, respectively. Rookie T.J. Clemmings was spotty throughout his first season at right tackle. "I think at times (he played well) and at times he didn't," Zimmer said. "He's going to have to come back and compete.
"Right now, I think we need to compete at that position. I think guys need to come in and compete, whether it's Sullivan or Loadholt or (Matt) Kalil, or whoever it is. They need to compete. But that's really what I want this football team to do, as well."