VU Daily Blog: 1/17-1/21/11

The week ended with a coaching staff mostly in place, but getting there took a wild ride of speculation. See all the Vikings news and speculation as it progressed through the VU Daily Blog.

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POSTED BY: TIM YOTTER
ON FRIDAY, JANUARY 21, 2011 AT 15:15:00

Sullivan's coach a finalist for award

Vikings center John Sullivan nominated one of his former coaches, Rich Albonizio of Greenwich (Conn.) High School, for an award and Albonizio is now a finalist for the NFL High School Football Coach of the Year Award.

Albonizio was one of five finalists announced Friday. The winner receives $2,500, a $5,000 grant for his high school football program, and a trip to the 2011 Pro Bowl.

More than 50 NFL players submitted nominations for the award, created in 1995.

Sullivan's nomination joins the high school coaches for Jon Beason of the Carolina Panthers, Mario Manningham of the New York Giants, Andy Levitre of the Buffalo Bills, David Baas of the San Francisco 49ers and Drew Miller of the St. Louis Rams (the last two both submitted the same coach, John Sprague of Riverview High School in Sarasota, Fla.).

The winner will be announced next week.

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POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 10:38:00
6 Senior Bowl QBs in 6 days: Greg McElroy: Greg McElroy has won championships at the highest levels in high scho...
http://bit.ly/eBcMpo

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 10:38:00
Metrodome roof might need to be replaced: The state of the Metrodome could come into play at the beginning of th...
http://bit.ly/hKL2bO

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 08:35:00
New hires point to direction of Vikings: The Vikings announced the hiring of two more position coaches on Thursd...
http://bit.ly/eZh5Ry

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 17:42:00
Musgrave's record with QBs helps: Bill Musgrave has developed other successful young quarterbacks, and the Vikin... 
http://bit.ly/dJFlJY

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 14:37:00
6 Senior Bowl QBs in 6 days: Jake Locker: Jake Locker might have been the No. 1 overall pick last year if he did...
http://bit.ly/g0dNIe

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 14:37:00
Bevell likely to land in Seattle: With the Vikings hiring Bill Musgrave as their offensive coordinator, Darrell ...
http://bit.ly/hxXJC9

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 14:37:00
Musgrave mixing concepts into Vikings offense: New offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave will be drawing from a va...
http://bit.ly/dK8x3A

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 12:54:00
Musgrave said he would fit the blocking scheme to what best fits Adrian Peterson's talents. #
Vikings

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 12:54:00
#
Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said ideally he'd like to build with a young guy at quarterback. #Vikings

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 12:39:00
New special teams coach Mike Priefer has a military background and wants to preach toughness and discipline, among other things. #
Vikings

POSTED BY: TIM YOTTER
ON THURSDAY, JANUARY 20, 2011 AT 12:28:00

Vikings add QB coach, OL coach

In addition to talking about the coaching hires that were already announced, new head coach Leslie Frazier also announced the hiring of Craig Johnson as the quarterbacks coach and Jeff Davidson as the offensive line coach.

Despite Johnson's most recent coaching experience, in 2010, being with the running backs, he has extensive experience working with quarterbacks, and that's where the Vikings slotted him. He tutored quarterbacks in Tennessee for nine seasons, including Steve McNair's co-MVP season in 2003 and Vince Young's rookie year in 2006.

Davidson is expected to keep mostly a zone blocking scheme intact under new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave. Davidson was the offensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers for the last three years.

"They did a terrific job in the run game, which has been his forte going back to his time as a player, as an offensive lineman in our league and then coaching with New England and then Cleveland before he got to Carolina," Frazier said. "One of the things that I really like about Jeff was the fact that they were able to find a way with DeAngelo Williams along with Jonathan Stewart to have two 1,000-yard rushers in the same backfield.

"As you know, we have two outstanding backs in our minds with Adrian being the premier back in the National Football League and then with Toby Gerhart, who is a guy we have high hopes for. Just to be able to find a guy who understands and knows how to incorporate two very good backs in the run game was something that really kind of got my interest in, and I think it's going to be a plus for us, the success they had running the football down in Carolina."

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POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 11:39:00
Frazier confirmed the hiring of Craig Johnson as the QB coach. #
Vikings

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 11:38:00
Frazier announced the hiring of Jeff Davison as the offensive line coach. #
Vikings

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 11:37:00
Frazier said the offensive coordinator position was one of the most important hires because of Frazier's defensive background. #
Vikings

POSTED BY: TIM YOTTER
ON WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 19, 2011 AT 22:32:00

Vikings' reportedly interested in more coaches

Now that the Vikings have their coordinators in place, the rest of the position coaches could be taking shape.

After their hires on Wednesday, the Vikings were left with coaching openings for their quarterbacks, running backs and offensive line.

The Vikings reportedly offered the running backs job to Gene Huey, who was fired from the same job with the Indianapolis Colts earlier this week. Vikings coach Leslie Frazier was on the Colts staff before becoming defensive coordinator in Minnesota in 2007.

The Tennessean also reports that the Vikings have been in contact with Titans running backs coach Craig Johnson, and the newspaper report adds that Johnson "could be leaving the Titans as soon as Thursday."

"I can confirm he's been in contact with another NFL team," Titans coach Jeff Fisher told the Tennessean Wednesday night. "I think there will be a decision in the next day or so."

Despite Johnson's most recent coaching experience, in 2010, being with the running backs, he has extensive experience working with quarterbacks, and that's likely where the Vikings are targeting him. He tutored quarterbacks in Tennessee for nine seasons, including Steve McNair's co-MVP season in 2003 and Vince Young's rookie year in 2006.

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POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 20:03:00
Vikings' coordinators in place: The Vikings finally have their coordinators in place, hiring Bill Musgrave and M...
http://bit.ly/hPjApW

POSTED BY: TIM YOTTER
ON WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 19, 2011 AT 17:57:00

Singletary, Priefer, Pagac moves become official

The Vikings haven't officially announced the hiring of Bill Musgrave as their offensive coordinator, but they did decide to announce the signing of Mike Singletary as linebackers coach/special assistant to the head coach and Mike Priefer as the new special teams coordinator.

They also announced the official promotion of Fred Pagac from linebackers coach to defensive coordinator. He was the acting defensive coordinator when Leslie Frazier was promoted to interim head coach.

That leaves the official announcement of Musgrave and hirings to coach running backs (which could be Gene Huey), quarterbacks (if Musgrave doesn't take that on as well) and offensive line.

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POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 17:46:00
#
Vikings have also finally announced the hiring of Mike Singletary (LB/ass't to head coach), Mike Priefer (special teams) and Pagas as DC.

POSTED BY: TIM YOTTER
ON WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 19, 2011 AT 17:44:00

Vikings to hire Musgrave as offensive coordinator

The Vikings beat out the Cleveland Browns in hiring Bill Musgrave as their offensive coordinator, according to ESPN.

Musgrave spent five years with the Atlanta Falcons as their quarterbacks coach and had assistant head coach added to his title in 2010. Musgrave is credited with being instrumental in the development of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and the Vikings are expected to look toward the draft to address their needs at that position.

Prior to joining the Falcons, Musgrave was an assistant with the 2005 Washington Redskins. He was also the offensive coordinator with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2003-04), Virginia Cavaliers (2001-02), Carolina Panthers (2000) and Philadelphia Eagles (1998). He was the quarterbacks coach with the Oakland Raiders in 1997.

He spent five years playing quarterback in the NFL, with the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers, where he was a backup to Steve Young and Joe Montana.

Darrell Bevell, the Vikings' offensive coordinator under Brad Childress since 2006, interviewed for the offensive coordinator position today with the Seattle Seahawks.

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POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 17:28:00
RT @
mortreport: Musgrave, the Falcons Asst Head Coach/quarterbacks coach, was pursued heavily by the Browns but Vikes won out. #Vikings

POSTED BY: TIM YOTTER
ON WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 19, 2011 AT 10:13:00

Report: Vikings offer RBs job to Huey

With Eric Bieniemy long since gone and working as offensive coordinator for the University of Colorado, the Vikings appear to have a replacement in mind.

The Indianapolis Star reported that Gene Huey, who was fired Tuesday as running backs coach for the Colts, has been offered the same job with the Vikings. Huey and Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier worked together in Indianapolis under former head coach Tony Dungy.

Huey told the Star that his options are early retirement or work for Frazier. If he chooses the latter, he would be coaching Adrian Peterson, but star running backs are nothing new for Huey. In Indianapolis, he coached Marshall Faulk, Edgerrin James and Joseph Addai, among others.

Despite that list of impressive running backs, the Star points out that the Colts have struggled to run the ball more recently. Indianapolis ranked 29th with 92.7 yards rushing per game in 2010.

Frazier has said he wants to be more committed to running the ball than they were under former Vikings coach Brad Childress.

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POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 08:46:00
6 Senior Bowl QBs in 6 days: Colin Kaepernick: Nevada's Colin Kaepernick has the height and the speed, but he mi...
http://bit.ly/fCb36I

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 08:46:00
Owners react to state of the labor situation: The NFL and NFLPA haven't had a serious negotiating session in mon...
http://bit.ly/h9qhPL

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 08:15:00
Singletary to join Vikings: The Vikings have reached an agreement with Mike Singletary to coach their linebacker...
http://bit.ly/hMCkAr

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 18:45:00
ESPN and Howard Balzer both report that Josh McDaniels has been hired as the offensive coordinator of the Rams. #
Vikingslose that one.

POSTED BY: TIM YOTTER
ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2011 AT 16:15:00

Seattle another option for McDaniels?

The Seattle Seahawks have fired offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates and that, too, affects the Vikings' search for an offensive coordinator.

The Seahawks have been talking with former Denver Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels about the coordinator position since Monday, according to ESPN. That could be part of the reason talks between the Rams and McDaniels reportedly stalled on Tuesday morning and the Seahawks could be the "unidentified team" reportedly showing an interest in McDaniels.

The Vikings interviewed McDaniels for their offensive coordinator position on Jan. 7, but it appears that McDaniels could be more interested in the Rams or Seahawks than the Vikings, and that could be why the Vikings have reportedly contacted Falcons QBs coach Bill Musgrave about the position. Musgrave is expected to interview with the Cleveland Browns Tuesday and the Vikings on Wednesday.

The Vikings would like to have the majority of their coaching staff in place this week. While Mike Singletary told ESPN radio in Chicago that he going to be the linebackers coach and assistant head coach in Minnesota and Mike Priefer appears to be in line as the next special teams coordinator in Minnesota, the Vikings still have coaching openings at running back, offensive line, quarterback and offensive coordinator.

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POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 12:46:00
Mike Singletary confirmed during a radio interview Tuesday that he will be the #
Vikings LBs coach/assistant head coach, reports ESPN.

POSTED BY: TIM YOTTER
ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2011 AT 12:01:00

Another name emerges in Vikings coordinator carousel

The Vikings' offensive coordinator position is getting more interesting by the day, even the hour.

Not long after NFL Network reported that Josh McDaniels would "probably" choose the Rams' offensive coordinator position over the Vikings' same opportunity, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported that talks between the Rams and McDaniels are breaking down.

But that's not all. Mortensen also reports that the Vikings have requested permission to talk to Atlanta Falcons quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave about the offensive coordinator position. The Vikings had to wait until after the Falcons' season was finished to talk to him. Musgrave is scheduled to interview with both the Vikings and Browns in the next two days, according to Mortensen.

But that's not it. With the McDaniels talks breaking down, the Rams have also sought permission to talk to Musgrave and the Vikings' Darrell Bevell, who is still on staff in Minnesota. Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier has given Bevell permission to seek other opportunities.

ESPN also reports that Bevell will interview for the quarterbacks coaching job in Seattle today.

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POSTED BY: TIM YOTTER
ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2011 AT 11:29:00

Report: McDaniels leaning towards Rams

Former Denver Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels is expected to make a decision on his coaching future in the next 24 hours and will "probably" choose the offensive coordinator opening with the St. Louis Rams over the Minnesota Vikings, according to NFL Network's Michael Lombardi.

McDaniels interviewed for the Rams position over the weekend after interviewing for the Vikings' position on Jan. 7.

Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is still on staff, but he is in a precarious position as head coach Leslie Frazier looks elsewhere. Frazier had hoped to have an announcement on his coaching staff this week and it's unclear where things would stand if McDaniels opts to go to the Rams.

The Vikings also have coaching openings for the offensive line, running backs, special teams and linebackers, although former Frazier teammate Mike Singletary is expected to be hired as the linebackers coach.

The coaching staff is heading to Mobile, Ala., to scout senior players hoping to be drafted at next week's Senior Bowl, so ideally a full staff would be in place by this weekend, although the Senior Bowl can sometimes be a job fair for assistant coaches looking for employment.

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POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 08:41:00
Moving forward: Vikings defensive analysis: The Vikings defense has a lot of players scheduled for free agency. ...
http://bit.ly/gTDgfg

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 08:41:00
Favre retires, capitalism reigns: Vikings quarterback Brett Favre is no longer a Viking, or an active NFL player...
http://bit.ly/iiP5uo

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 08:41:00
Six Senior Bowl QBs in six days: Andy Dalton: The Vikings are resolute in their need to address the quarterback ...
http://bit.ly/dUd6pa

POSTED BY: TIM YOTTER
ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2011 AT 08:38:00

Another former Vikings QB retires

By now, you probably know all about Brett Favre retiring (yes, again). But there is another former Vikings quarterback who said his football career is done, and this announcement didn't have quite the same splash.

Brooks Bollinger, a Grand Forks, N.D., native, former Wisconsin Badger and former Minnesota Viking, told the Grand Forks Herald that he is moving on from football after six seasons in the NFL and two in the UFL.

Bollinger was with the Vikings in Brad Childress' first two seasons as head coach, 2006-07. Bollinger played in seven games for Minnesota, starting one. He threw one touchdown and two interceptions but was sacked a whopping 13 times.

His most extensive NFL experience came in 2005, when he played in 11 games and started two for the New York Jets, throwing for 1,588 yards, seven touchdowns and six interceptions and taking 32 sacks.

His NFL career finished in 2008 with the Dallas Cowboys, playing in two games.

The last two years have been spent in the UFL playing for the Florida Tuskers, but the hits were taking their toll on the 31-year old.

"I'm getting too old to get hit that much," Bollinger told the Herald.

"Unless something crazy happens, I'm done. I think this year was the year that told me that it's time to hang it up. This is a young man's game. It's all taken its toll on my body."

Bollinger said he texted Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell when Brett Favre's consecutive games-started streak was coming to an end. Instead, the Vikings signed one of Bollinger's teammates from his Jets days, Patrick Ramsey.

"I was happy for Patrick," Bollinger said. "He's a good guy and a good player. That's the way the business goes. I gave those guys a hard time. I told them I could have stood over on the sidelines just as good as (Ramsey) did."

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POSTED BY: TIM YOTTER
ON MONDAY, JANUARY 17, 2011 AT 21:36:00

Favre starts Packers repair process

Here's guessing Packers fans will have a short memory and embrace the Brett Favre from more than five years ago.

Now that Brett Favre is retired, he appears to be starting the wheels in motion to get back in the good graces of Packers fans. In an e-mail to ESPN's Ed Werder, who covered more than half of the Vikings' games this year as ESPN resident Favre insider, Favre said he considers the Packers the best team left in the playoffs "by far." There are only four teams remaining.

Green Bay is playing NFC North rival Chicago in the NFC Championship Game, and Favre told Werder he doesn't hold a grudge against the Packers even though that seemed to be his motivating factor for coming to the Vikings in 2009.

"There is no bitterness. I'm happy for them and very happy and content with my legacy," Favre told Werder.

"I think they will win it all! I hope they do, if you are wondering."

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POSTED BY: TIM YOTTER
ON MONDAY, JANUARY 17, 2011 AT 17:29:00

Brian Murphy leaves Vikings for Panthers

The Carolina Panthers, fresh off of hiring Ron Rivera as their head coach, have announced the signing of former Vikings special teams coordinator Brian Murphy to the same post with the Panthers.

Murphy was allowed to look for other opportunities after Leslie Frazier was named the head coach of the Vikings as he interviewed other candidates, including former Denver Broncos special teams coordinator Mike Priefer. Murphy leaving could signal that the Vikings have an agreement in place with another special teams coach, but they haven't announced anything yet.

The Vikings haven't named an offensive coordinator yet either, but Darrell Bevell remains on staff for now and he, too, was allowed to look for other opportunities.

Frazier has maintained for the past 10 days that he would like to announce his staff this week.

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POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 14:45:00
With today's Favre news, you aren't going to see this anymore:
http://yfrog.com/h7cjarj #Vikings

POSTED BY: TIM YOTTER
ON MONDAY, JANUARY 17, 2011 AT 14:27:00

Report: Dolphins choose Daboll over Childress

Former Vikings coach Brad Childress was expected to interview for the offensive coordinator position with the Miami Dolphins over the weekend, but ESPN reportsthat the Dolphins are set to hire former Cleveland Browns coordinator Brian Daboll for that position.

That means that Childress' best shot to get back into the NFL in 2011 might be with the St. Louis Rams. Childress is good friends with Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo and the Rams last year ran the West Coast offense with which Childress is so familiar. It would make for a relatively seamless transition from former Rams offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, who was hired as head coach of the Cleveland Browns.

But there is competition. Former Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels was set to interview for the Rams OC job over the weekend, the same position that he interviewed for with the Vikings on Jan. 7.

Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier is hoping to have the majority of his staff in place by this weekend, as the coaches will head out to scout players at the Senior Bowl next week.

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POSTED BY: TIM YOTTER
ON MONDAY, JANUARY 17, 2011 AT 11:34:00

FOX: Favre files for retirement

Brett Favre has filed his retirement papers, according to what two sources told FOXSports.com.

Favre could always change his mind – no, not him! – but Favre maintained throughout the 2010 season that this would be his final year playing in the NFL. His performance, injuries and off-the-field distractions indicated that is probably the wise move.

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said at the end of the season that he didn't foresee any circumstance under which he would pursue Favre to return for another season, as former Vikings coach Brad Childress did during the 2010 offseason.

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POSTED BY: TIM YOTTER
ON MONDAY, JANUARY 17, 2011 AT 09:12:00

Peterson responds to McDonald's case

Adrian Peterson wrote on his Twitter account that he wasn't aware an Eden Prairie McDonald's worker had been fired for letting him use the bathroom after the restaurant had closed its building.

Tiffany Langeslay told KSTP she lost her job for violating company policy by letting someone in the building after it had closed, but after the television station contacted McDonalds about the incident, the company gave her job back.

Langeslay said she made an exception because it was Peterson.

"Feel terrible about the nice lady at McDonald's losing her job," Peterson wrote. "Unfortunately I wasn't aware of the situation or I would have definitely helped in any way possible. I'm very happy she has been re-hired and wish her the best."

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POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 09:00:00
NFC: Bears, Packers get hot at right time: The Bears' defense suddenly came alive. Was it the Bears or the lack ...
http://bit.ly/eatmdP

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 09:00:00
AFC: A Jets-Steelers December rematch: The Jets get the tables turned on them, as it's the Steelers looking for ...
http://bit.ly/dFh8xB

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 07:58:00
Singletary on the cusp of joining Frazier?: Mike Singletary appears to be eyeing the Vikings as his next coachin...
http://bit.ly/dHl7YO

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