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Vikings taking their time with coaching search

Rick Spielman

Rick Spielman addresses the media after he was named general manager of the Minnesota Vikings NFL football team Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012, in Eden Prairie, Minn. Spielman, who is in his 22nd year as an NFL executive among Detroit, Chicago, Miami and the Vikings, will oversee all football-related activities for the Vikings. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)


Of the four head-coaching searches that have lasted for at least eight days, the Vikings’ effort to hire the 10th head coach in team history (if Bud Grant is counted twice) has generated the least amount of buzz.

That may be precisely what the team wants. While the media focuses on Ken Whisenhunt supposedly having the inside track in Detroit and the Redskins taking a page from the Al Davis brain-picking playbook and the Browns casting a wide net perhaps to obscure the fact that they targeted Josh McDaniels even before Rob Chudzinski was fired, Vikings G.M. Rick Spielman has operated largely under the national media’s radar.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Vikings plan to interview “a lot” of candidates, with the goal of taking their time in order to get the right person for the job.

The known candidates, based on various reports, are Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton, Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman, Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase, and perhaps Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio.

On one hand, time is of the essence. In less than two weeks, Senior Bowl practices will be conducted, with other key dates and deadlines not far behind.

On the other hand, the Vikings apparently aim to make a hire that will carry the franchise deep into the decade, and possibly beyond. If that means not having a coach in place before the Super Bowl, so be it.