Spielman confirms Morris interview

Vikings general manager Rick Spielman confirmed the interviewing of Raheem Morris and reiterated that Leslie Frazier has final say on his coaching staff. Spielman also addressed several other topics Friday, including Christian Ponder, Adrian Peterson and Chris Cook.

The Minnesota Vikings are interviewing former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris on Friday, general manager Rick Spielman confirmed during his appearance on KFAN, which was streamed live on FOX Sports North.com.

Spielman, who was named the Vikings' GM on Tuesday, said Morris will be in town Friday after he reportedly interviewed for the defensive backs coaching job with the Washington Redskins. According to an ESPN report, Morris is interviewing for a high-level coaching position with the Vikings defense.

Earlier this week, Spielman said that despite his new title as GM, head coach Leslie Frazier will have the final say on football decisions. That means control over his coaching staff -- and the possible addition of Morris.

"A head coach has to bring in people that understand his scheme, understand what he's trying to accomplish," Spielman said. "He has to hire people that he thinks are competent at those things and can get things accomplished they need to get accomplished. My area is to assist him in that."

Morris, 35, was fired Monday as Buccaneers head coach after Tampa Bay ended its season on a 10-game losing streak to finish 4-12. The 2011 season was Morris' third as the Bucs' head coach. They finished 10-6 in 2010 but were a combined 17-31 in his three years at the helm.

Prior to holding the Tampa Bay head-coaching job, Morris spent much of his coaching career on the defensive side of the ball. He was the Bucs' defensive backs coach from 2007-08. Prior to that, he served as the defensive coordinator for Kansas State University in 2006 and had multiple roles as a defensive coach for Tampa Bay from 2002-05.

There is speculation that current Vikings defensive coordinator Fred Pagac could be on the way out. Pagac was promoted from linebackers coach to defensive coordinator during Frazier's first full year as head coach. But Minnesota's defense was among the worst in the NFL in 2011, as the Vikings gave up 449 points this season -- second-worst after Tampa Bay's 494 points allowed.

Other highlights from Spielman's appearance on KFAN:

On having to take responsibility for the team's failures as the GM:
"If you're looking at successful teams, they have this structure in place. There has to be a point person now. I'm that person and I'll take responsibility for all the good, but I'm also going to be able to take responsibility now if we screw something up or this doesn't work out, blame it on me. . . . I love doing what I'm doing. I have a passion for what I do. I have a passion for the Minnesota Vikings, and I want to be responsible -- along with everyone else in the building -- to put a winner on that field so these fans can be proud of our product."

On whether starting the year with Donovan McNabb at quarterback was a mistake:
"I think when you look back and you evaluate everything, I think it didn't turn out the way everybody thought it was going to turn out when we did make that move. . . . We're reassessing everything. Where were the mistakes made, and who made the mistakes? Again, it was an organizational decision, but I know going forward now anything from a personnel, 53-man roster, anything else from the decision standpoint, that's going to be on me."

On signing center John Sullivan to a five-year extension in mid-December:
"We were fortunate to get John Sullivan in the sixth round. It turned out to be great value at that pick. . . . During the season, I'm looking as we're playing teams, I'm looking at other free agents. I'm stacking John Sullivan up during the season against what potentially is going to be out there in the free-agent market and what potentially is going to be out there in the draft, and I'm sitting there saying to myself, I said, 'John Sullivan's as good as anyone we're seeing right now.' . . . The other thing that was very impressive about John Sullivan that you know you did the right thing is when he got that big contract and you watched him play those last games after he got his money, his level went up even more."

On rookie quarterback Christian Ponder, saying on "The Dan Patrick Show" that the Vikings will not select a quarterback in the 2012 NFL draft:
"I called Christian after that. . . . We don't even know right now who we're going to draft or where we're going to draft. Are we going to move up? Are we going to move down? There's so many scenarios. . . . I'm not going to go into he said or she said, but I think Christian needs a little more savvy when he's going on."

On Ponder's health, after the rookie QB dealt with numerous injuries this season:
"I think the thing Christian will learn, like most of these rookies learn, not only do they learn the speed of the game but they also learn how to protect themselves. Sometimes, they can avoid taking those type of shots if he gets the ball out quicker, can make quicker decisions, slide around the pocket a little bit. . . . You see those guys as they develop. Not only do they learn how to make quicker decisions, they learn how to get down when they're going to take a shot. That's part of the maturation process."

On whether troubled defensive back Chris Cook has a spot on the roster next year:
"I don't think Chris Cook is a bad person. He did a very bad thing allegedly that was not endorsed. Again, I think you have to let the court system play out and then see where we're at and then go from there. . . . I don't want to get into hypotheticals until we find out what we're dealing with. Then we'll make the decision from there."

On how Adrian Peterson will bounce back from his ACL injury:
"Adrian Peterson is going to defy odds. I was down there watching him rehab the other day. He's already a couple weeks ahead of where he's supposed to be. . . . He wants to prove to everybody that this isn't going to hold him back. If anyone's going to come back quickly, that's going to be him. And if there's anyone going to be more determined to prove that this thing is only going to make him a better player, that's Adrian Peterson."


Viking Update Top Stories

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That means control over his coaching staff -- and the possible addition of Morris. \"A head coach has to bring in people that understand his scheme, understand what he's trying to accomplish,\" Spielman said. \"He has to hire people that he thinks are competent at those things and can get things accomplished they need to get accomplished. My area is to assist him in that.\" Morris, 35, was fired Monday as Buccaneers head coach after Tampa Bay ended its season on a 10-game losing streak to finish 4-12. The 2011 season was Morris' third as the Bucs' head coach. They finished 10-6 in 2010 but were a combined 17-31 in his three years at the helm. Prior to holding the Tampa Bay head-coaching job, Morris spent much of his coaching career on the defensive side of the ball. He was the Bucs' defensive backs coach from 2007-08. Prior to that, he served as the defensive coordinator for Kansas State University in 2006 and had multiple roles as a defensive coach for Tampa Bay from 2002-05. There is speculation that current Vikings defensive coordinator Fred Pagac could be on the way out. Pagac was promoted from linebackers coach to defensive coordinator during Frazier's first full year as head coach. But Minnesota's defense was among the worst in the NFL in 2011, as the Vikings gave up 449 points this season -- second-worst after Tampa Bay's 494 points allowed. Other highlights from Spielman's appearance on KFAN: \"If you're looking at successful teams, they have this structure in place. There has to be a point person now. I'm that person and I'll take responsibility for all the good, but I'm also going to be able to take responsibility now if we screw something up or this doesn't work out, blame it on me. . . . I love doing what I'm doing. I have a passion for what I do. 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