Vikes Deny Access To Coaches

Over the last week, the Vikings have found other teams knocking on their door -- not for players, but for coaches.

As Mike Tice assembled his coaching staff after being given the head coaching position, he has been convinced he has one of the better core groups available. Apparently, other NFL teams agree.

In the last couple of weeks, the Vikings have denied the Seahawks and Patriots permission to try to take away two of their coaches.

The Seahawks were after special teams coach Rusty Tillman, who spent several years in that capacity in previous Hawks regimes. After failing in their bid to talk to Tillman about the job, the Seahawks promoted Mark Michaels to the position.

The other denial came to the defending champion Patriots, who wanted to talk to Pete Bercich about their outside linebackers coaching spot. While the entire league knows about Tillman, Bercich was thought to be more an unknown commodity, but the request from the champs gave Tice something to be proud of in his choice of Bercich.

"I'm very pleased to keep what we consider a bright young mind and up and coming star in the league," Tice said of Bercich.

Both assistants, like the rest of the Vikings coaches, are under contract through 2005.

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