As business closed Wednesday, the Minnesota Vikings appeared closer to having a defensive coordinator than a new stadium. Let's take a look at those unrelated issues one at a time.
Multiple news outlets -- including NFL.com, ESPN1500.com and the St. Paul Pioneer Press -- were reporting that Indianapolis Colts defensive backs coach Alan Williams will soon be hired as the Vikings' defensive coordinator. Williams and current Vikings coach Leslie Frazier were on the same Colts staff under former coach Tony Dungy, and Williams' arrival would ensure continuity for the Tampa-2 scheme Frazier prefers.
Other changes would still need to be worked out. The Vikings need a new defensive line coach, and reports suggest that former defensive coordinator Fred Pagac could return to coach linebackers. In that scenario, 2011 linebackers coach Mike Singletary would stay on staff as a special assistant to Frazier.
That's an awfully convoluted mix of incumbents, newcomers and demotions, one that we'll address if and when the Vikings confirm it.
Meanwhile, Gov. Mark Dayton failed to deliver a single stadium site or a financing plan, as previously promised, during a Wednesday news conference. Instead, he said that every credible site has outstanding questions that make it impossible to make a final recommendation to a state legislature that convenes next week.
With that said, Dayton has all but ruled out a suburban site in Arden Hills, Minn., saying the Vikings would have to cover gaps in local funding that would increase their required contribution from $425 million to $700 million. That isn't going to happen.
Dayton seems to favor a little-known site in downtown Minneapolis near the intersection of I-94 and I-394, known as the "Linden Ave." site, mostly because it would create a sports entertainment district with Target Field and Target Center. There has been little research done on the site, however, and local businesses have been vocal about their opposition.
The current Metrodome site, Dayton said, is a "default" site that would work if the so-called Linden Ave. site falls through. The Vikings haven't committed to a contribution for either Minneapolis site, however, and Dayton said he can't move forward until they do so.
At this point, I don't think anyone knows how this will play out. It sounds like an awfully large number of big decisions must be made in a short period of time in order for a stadium to be approved in the next few months. Dayton, however, characterized the situation as "first-and-goal at the 5-yard line." Hmmm. We better check his red zone percentage.
The Vikings' Metrodome lease will expire Feb. 1, and while they have indicated they would reject offers to relocate, they have also said they won't sign a lease for 2012 until a new stadium is approved. Stay tuned.