Loney Tunes

The Vikings offensive line coaching spot seems to be the stairway to the stars -- the position once held by head coach Mike Tice and the spot new offensive coordinator Steve Loney occupied the last three seasons.

The hiring of Steve Loney wasn't so much a matter of promotion as it was necessity. With the Vikings in the midst of persistent rumors that the club will be sold within a matter of weeks and all the other coaches on the staff only hired through the 2005 season, the Vikings faced a daunting task in hiring a new offensive coordinator.

Chief among those problems was that other teams were willing to offer more money and more time. At his 2004 salary, Scott Linehan would have needed to work nine years to make the $2.55 million he'll get in three from the Dolphins. The combination of low pay and no job security would have made finding a new coach more embarrassing than the recent Notre Dame job search.

Will Loney be successful? Well, if you think his predecessor as offensive line coach has been successful since his promotion, then the answer would be "yes."

* Tice and Loney will head down to Mobile, Ala. this weekend for the start of the Senior Bowl Monday.
* The Dolphins have been granted permission to talk to Vikings receivers coach Charlie Baggett about a similar opening on their coaching staff.

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