Zimmer ‘odds-on favorite' for Vikings coach

Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer continues to be the leading candidate for the Vikings' head coaching position, according to reports.

Mike Zimmer continues to be the leading candidate for the Minnesota Vikings' next head coach.

After a report last Thursday from ESPN that Zimmer is "a favorite" of the Vikings, FOX Sports reported on Sunday that Zimmer is the "odds-on favorite" for the Vikings right now. Zimmer will interview with the Vikings for a second time this week, believed to be on Tuesday in Minnesota. According to FOX, "he may not leave," meaning the Vikings could have a head coach in place by the end of Tuesday.

Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is still in the running for the job, according to FOX, but with the Seahawks winning their divisional playoff game, Quinn can't be interviewed again until the week of Jan. 20. That is the week of the Senior Bowl, and Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said he would like to have a head coach in place by the Senior Bowl, the college all-star game that is played on Jan. 25, although he admitted that isn't a hard deadline.

The Vikings interviewed Quinn on the weekend of Jan. 4 and he has also interviewed with the Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans. He has interviewed for head coaching jobs each of the last two seasons.

Zimmer has a 20-year track record as a defensive coach in the NFL, including 14 years as a defensive coordinator. In 2013, the Bengals finished third in total defense, the fourth time in the last five years they have accomplished that. He also has experience running both 3-4 and 4-3 defensive schemes.

In 2013, the Bengals defense finished fifth in passing yards and fifth in rushing yards allowed, tied for third in first downs per game, second in third-down efficiency and fifth in fourth-down efficiency.

Before joining the Bengals in 2008, Zimmer was the defensive coordinator with the Atlanta Falcons in 2007 and Dallas Cowboys from 2000-06 (four of those seasons under Bill Parcells). Previously, he held different coaching duties with the Cowboys, Washington State, Weber State and Missouri after playing quarterback and linebacker for Illinois State.

The Vikings have also interviewed Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton, San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman and 49ers defensive line coach Jim Tomsula. Any coach whose current team remains in the playoffs (like the 49ers and Seahawks) can't interview again until next week.

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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