EAGAN, Minn. (FOX 9) - The Minnesota Vikings fired offensive coordinator John DeFilippo Tuesday.
DeFilippo was let go following Monday night's 21-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Quarterback coach Kevin Stefanski has been named interim offensive coordinator and will handle play-calling duties for the near future, the Vikings said.
Stefanski was a candidate to be the offensive coordinator heading into this season before DeFilippo was hired.
"At the end of the day it's a production business. It was a hard decision and I have a lot of respect for John. But we weren't producing," Zimmer said Tuesday. "It wasn't about one guy. It's about a lot of us not holding up our end of the bargain."
The Vikings were shut out Monday until Kirk Cousins found Dalvin Cook for a 6-yard touchdown pass with 1:10 left in regulation and the Vikings trailing 21-0. The game was already in hand.
Under DeFilippo, the Vikings ranked 30th in rushing in the NFL at 85.4 yards per game. While play-calling has come into question, it's not all on DeFilippo. General Manager Rick Spielman opted to spend $84 million guaranteed in free agency on quarterback Kirk Cousins. They certainly were looking for an upgrade at quarterback, but also neglected to invest in the offensive line. That unit both has struggled to stay healthy and has gotten pushed around in key situations most of the season.
The Vikings had a 4th-and-1 with 6:12 left in the third quarter Monday night, but the offensive line got no push and Latavius Murray was stuffed for a turnover on downs. They also failed to score in four plays from the 6-yard line in the fourth quarter.
Mike Zimmer had been critical of DeFilippo in recent weeks, saying the offense had gotten too complicated and that he needed to have more input play-calling. It had become clear that the two were in disagreement on how to run the offense.
"In the best interest of the team for the last three weeks, we had to shake things up," Zimmer said. "It wasn't about one game, it was about the direction we were heading. I don't want the season to be wasted now. Maybe it will, maybe it won't, but these last three games are critical."
DeFilippo is the third Vikings offensive coordinator to leave the team in four seasons. Pat Shurmur left after last season to be the head coach of the New York Giants, Norv Turner resigned and is now the offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers. Bill Musgrave was fired in 2013 and is now the offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos.
This was DeFilippo's first season with the team. He was hired from Philadelphia, where he was the quarterbacks coach for the Eagles in their Super Bowl win at U.S. Bank Stadium over the New England Patriots.