According to ESPN’s Kevin Seifert who covers the Minnesota Vikings, he says that the Vikings are waiting to see if they interview Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero for their defensive coordinator job. He is currently in the running for the Arizona Cardinals and Indianapolis Colts head coaching jobs and is still under contract with the Broncos as their defensive coordinator.
The reason the Vikings' search for a defensive coordinator has been quiet lately is that, per sources, they're waiting to see if they can get an interview with the Denver Broncos' Ejiro Evero. At the moment, he's a candidate for the head coach job in Indianapolis and Arizona.— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) February 1, 2023
The Vikings would request permission to interview Evero, but he is still in the running for two head coaching jobs as well. So, until he is told he is eliminated, the Vikings will likely hold off requesting permission to interview him.
It is also unclear if the Broncos would block that request or not. They have done it once already when the Atlanta Falcons reached out, but things are much different now. Back then, the Broncos were in the midst of a head coaching search that also included Evero. However, now with Payton joining the team as their head coach, Evero’s future is up in the air. He could stick around but there are reports indicating that the Broncos are talking to former Broncos head coach Vic Fangio to be their defensive coordinator under Payton. So, that would allow Evero to move on freely without permission needed if Fangio was hired. However, there is a chance that Payton would decide to keep the up-and-coming coach who coached up the Broncos' defense to play very well despite multiple key injuries. So it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
As we know, Evero was brought in by now former and recently fired Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett last year to serve as the defensive coordinator. He was a defensive backs coach for the Rams and would be a first-time defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos. He was replacing a pretty damn good defensive mind in Vic Fangio who was let go by the Broncos last year as well, and Evero did not miss a beat.
Despite his inexperience, a league-worst offense, inept coaching around him, and non-stop injuries to key members of the team, Evero was the mastermind behind a damn good Broncos defense. They did tail off at the end of the year but injuries and poor offensive play likely played a factor in that. They were looking like an elite unit in the first half of the year. What he did in the second half of the year with practice squad players and additions from off the roster was fairly impressive. Broncos players also love the guy and pushed for him to be a head coach next season as well.
I think multiple teams now reaching out to Evero is an indicator that they believe the Broncos may move on from him(or Evero wants to move on). You do not see teams reach out to young and up-and-coming coordinators for lateral moves very often at all. So again, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
Personally, I think it’s trending that Evero is somewhere else next year. His relationship with Hackett likely plays into it, and hell, he could end up being a head coach somewhere, but he doesn’t seem like a favorite for the remaining two jobs. It also sounds like Payton is trying to bring Fangio back to Denver so that would obviously have Evero elsewhere. There is a chance he stays of course, but right now, I am not sure how likely that is.