Mike Zimmer announced Saturday morning that former tight ends coach Clancy Barone and former assistant offensive line coach Andrew Janocko will be co-offensive line coaches for the 2018 season. The Vikings made the move in response to offensive line coach Tony Sparano passing away.
Former senior offensive assistant Todd Downing will be put in charge of the tight ends to replace Barone.
Head coach Mike Zimmer explained the decision to look internally for a new offensive line coach. “For the last two years, we’ve worked really hard on the footwork, techniques and schemes that we were running. I felt it was important to continue to do that regardless of what we decided to do. I didn’t want to change the players’ terminology or footwork.”
Barone has significant offensive line coaching experience, having coached the offensive line for two different NFL teams in three different stints — he took charge of the unit in Atlanta in 2004, Denver in 2010 and once more for the 2015 and 2016 seasons for the Broncos.
Andrew Janocko will be entering his fourth season with the Vikings and sixth in the NFL. Last year was his first as an assistant offensive line coach. Before that, he’d been working in quality control in the NFL and with quarterbacks in college.
This will be the first time Downing has had coaching responsibilities for tight ends, though he has experience as an offensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders and as a quarterbacks coach for the bulk of his career. He’d been assisting with Vikings receivers before his promotion.
“[John DeFilippo] had a history with him,” said Zimmer of Downing. “He was an offensive coordinator. He’d coached quarterbacks before. … Todd’s a great young coach, he’s very respectful, he understands really where he’s at and what he’s trying to do and trying to help us win.”
Sam Ekstrom contributed to this report.