Vikings will split Sparano’s duties between 2 offensive line coaches
After remembering Tony Sparanos life at his memorial service on Friday, the Vikings announced their plan to replace their offensive line coach on Saturday.
The team will move tight ends coach Clancy Barone to the offensive line, where he will share the position with former assistant offensive line coach Andrew Janocko. Both coaches will have the title of co-offensive line coach, while senior offensive assistant Todd Downing will move to coach the tight ends.
Barone, who joined the Vikings before the 2017 season, was the Broncos offensive line coach in 2015 and 2016, leading the group when Denver won Super Bowl 50 after the 2015 season. He was also the Broncos offensive line coach in 2010, and coached the group for the Falcons in 2004.
Janocko joined the Vikings before the 2015 season, and worked closely with Sparano as the assistant line coach last year after serving as an offensive assistant in 2015 and 2016. During the Vikings first three days of camp, Barone and Janocko split duties working with the teams rookies, with one coach drilling the right side of the line and the other coaching the left.
The Vikings added Downing to their staff in February, bringing the Eden Prairie native back for his second tour with the team after the Raiders fired him as offensive coordinator. Downings first stint on the Vikings coaching staff came in 2005, when he worked as an offensive quality control coach under Mike Tice.
The teams decision comes after the Vikings spent time considering a handful of outside options; an NFL source told the Star Tribune this week that both Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and retired Cardinals coach Bruce Arians had called Vikings coach Mike Zimmer to recommend former Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin for the job. With Sparanos death occurring so close to the start of the season, the Vikings opted for continuity, choosing to reshuffle their current offensive staff instead of bringing in a new position coach.