Thursday, January 6, 2011
McDaniels would be a coup for Vikings
By Kevin Seifert
Perhaps by now you've heard that the Minnesota Vikings have scheduled two significant interviews for new coach Leslie Frazier's staff. Both candidates were head coaches in the NFL last season.
Josh McDaniels will interview on Friday, presumably for offensive coordinator, according to ESPN's Ed Werder. And Mike Singletary will speak with Frazier about becoming the Vikings' linebackers coach, according to ESPN's John Clayton.
We'll start with McDaniels. The Vikings haven't fired current offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, but Frazier has been non-committal about his future and recently let three other offensive assistants go. Frazier and McDaniels share the same agent, Bob LaMonte, but to my knowledge have no other professional connection.
In all sincerity, this would be an outstanding hire if Frazier can pull it off. McDaniels, who will turn 35 in April, most assuredly bombed as the Denver Broncos' head coach over the past two seasons. But before that, he was an outstanding offensive coordinator and play-caller for the New England Patriots, one who presided over the Patriots' record-setting 2007 season and also navigated the loss of quarterback Tom Brady in 2008.
Frazier's background as a defensive-minded coach would give McDaniels significant latitude to develop a scheme around the Vikings' personnel. He would probably have the opportunity to develop a young quarterback, given the Vikings current lack of depth, and might also be interested in taking Kyle Orton off the Broncos' hands as a short-term starter in Minnesota.
Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves, however. For now, all we know is that McDaniels is Frazier's first known interview for the job. I will tell you this: The Vikings will have to pay McDaniels significantly more than they did Bevell in order to make this hire.
Meanwhile, Singletary and Frazier were teammates on the early 1980's Chicago Bears and have remained close friends. Former linebackers coach Fred Pagac is expected to be promoted to defensive coordinator, opening up that position for Singletary, who could also get an assistant head coach title.