Kevin Stefanski returning as Minnesota Vikings OC

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After missing out on the Cleveland Browns' head coaching job, Kevin Stefanski will return to Minnesota.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Stefanski will return as the Vikings' full-time offensive coordinator, per a source informed of the situation. Minnesota later officially confirmed the news.

"Kevin is a smart young coach with a bright future," Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said in a statement. "I'm happy to have him take over the offensive coordinator job. His work ethic and teaching ability have been obvious to me behind the scenes since I came here five years ago. He's well respected by coaches and players both and I know he's up to the task."

Stefanski took over in Minnesota with three games left in the 2018 season after the Vikings jettisoned OC John DeFilippo. The Vikes offense got back to the ground game in the first two outings of the 36-year-old's play-calling career, compiling 320 rushing yards in back-to-back victories.

The Vikings offense, however, struggled brutally in the must-win season finale, compiling just 164 total yards in a loss to the Bears that dashed Minnesota's playoff plans.

Returning as full-time offensive coordinator, Stefanski will be tasked with unleashing an offense that vastly underperformed expectations in 2018. Despite a star running back in Dalvin Cook, two 1,000-plus-yard receivers in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, and an $84 million quarterback in Kirk Cousins, the Vikings were an inconsistent mess this season. If the Vikings can't finally figure out their offensive line issues in 2019, it likely won't matter who is calling plays.

Coach Mike Zimmer profusely praised Stefanski when handing him the interim OC job after shipping DeFilippo out of town. With just three total games on his resume as a play-caller, Stefanski will have a full-time chance to prove he's one of the next young, bright offensive minds. If he can right the Vikings' ship in 2019, more head-coaching interviews are likely coming down the line.

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