Vikings' coordinators in place

The Vikings finally have their coordinators in place, hiring Bill Musgrave and Mike Priefer for offense and special teams, respectively, while formally announcing Fred Pagac's ascension to full-time defensive coordinator.

The Vikings announced the addition of offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, special teams coordinator Mike Priefer and the official promotion of Fred Pagac to defensive coordinator. The Vikings also officially announced the hiring of Mike Singletary as the linebackers coach and special assistant to the head coach, as Leslie Frazier's coaching staff takes shape.

Musgrave was interviewed and hired on Wednesday, while Priefer and Singletary are believed to have had agreements in place earlier in the week.

"The organization is first class all the way and Leslie Frazier is first class all the way," Musgrave said in a statement. "The players on the offensive side of the ball are very attractive to be associated with. I'm looking forward to utilizing their strengths to get fantastic results. The offensive weapons on this squad are impressive. We as a staff will look forward to utilizing each and every one of them to attack defenses. I first met Leslie about 10 years ago when he was in Philadelphia and we've stayed in touch over the years. I look forward to working with him here and moving forward."

Musgrave spent five years with the Atlanta Falcons as their quarterbacks coach and had assistant head coach added to his title in 2010. He 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.

Like Musgrave, Priefer brings coordinator experience with him. He was the special-teams coordinator in Denver under Josh McDaniels the last two years. If kicker Ryan Longwell returns – he is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent – the core special teams players are in place with punter Chris Kluwe, long snapper Cullen Loeffler and Longwell, along with special-teams captain Heath Farwell, one of the coverage leaders.

"The punting situation is outstanding. We have a great snapper in Cullen Loeffler and have had a great kicker in Ryan Longwell over the years. I have kind of been envious of the core special teams guys here in Minnesota," Priefer said. "We had some good players in Denver but I know there are some outstanding players there in Minnesota and I look forward to working with them.

"I have put more of an emphasis on the coverage units. We did a lot of good things in Denver the past couple of years, but the scoring (on special teams) has a lot to do with the guys that we have on the units and obviously on the returner. If you have a good returner you have a great opportunity to score or at least give your offense great field position every single time you go out there. That is going to be a big thing working with Percy Harvin, Lorenzo Booker and Greg Camarillo. For me I like to emphasize toughness, discipline, enthusiasm and effort. Those are the four core words that I use when I talk about special teams play."

Although Pagac was expected to be named the full-time defensive coordinator after taking over those duties when Frazier was named the interim head coach, he will now have some time implement his own ideas with the defense, so long as a collective bargaining agreement is reached by May and the players have some semblance of offseason workouts.

"I'm very excited for the opportunity and I think we can get on the right track quickly," Pagac said. "I'm excited about our players and staff and think that keeping continuity is very important. It helps everyone involved, the players and coaches both. The players know us, what our expectations are and we have a staff that works well together."

For Singletary, who was fired as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers last year after accumulating an 18-22 record as a head coach, he is reunited with Frazier. Singletary was the middle linebacker for the 1985 Chicago Bears, winners of Super Bowl XX, while Frazier was a cornerback. The Bears went 15-1 that year and Singletary was named the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year.

Singletary played for the Bears from 1981-92 and was a 10-time Pro Bowler and eight-time first-team all-pro. He became an assistant coach for two years with the Baltimore Ravens in 2003, then was an assistant with the 49ers from 2005-08 before being named the head coach during the 2008 season.

"It's a great honor and a tremendous opportunity that I would have a chance to coach with Leslie," Singletary said. "He's a quality coach and I know that to be a part of something that he's doing is special. When I look at what they have put together as an organization, they have a lot of the pieces in place to do some special things. I'm excited to come there and be a part of that and help take it to the next level."

The Vikings still have positional coaching openings at running back, quarterback and offensive line.

Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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