"We have accelerated our search for a seasoned football executive and immediately initiated a process to select the very best head coach to secure a strong future for Vikings football," Wilf said in a news conference at the Vikings' Winter Park facility in Eden Prairie, Minn. "We will do this within the NFL guidelines."
The Vikings were believed to have asked permission to speak with Eagles vice president of player personnel Tom Heckert Jr. in their search to find an executive to deal with all personnel matters, but Heckert was promoted to general manager of the Eagles Monday. In essence, that person will be a general manager but will not get the title.
Whoever gets that position will work with Rob Brzezinski, who signed a three-year contract Saturday that will keep him in place as the vice president of football operations. Brzezinski will continue to deal with all salary-cap issues.
Wilf said there is a strong possibility the personnel hire will be made before the coach is named, meaning the executive could have a say in the coaching search. Wilf said decisions on the hires are being made by himself, team president Mark Wilf (his brother), Brzezinski and "a few executives we have on board that we are in touch with."
As for the head coach, Wilf would not confirm that Vikings defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell would be interviewed but came close. "I will not comment on individual candidates," he said. "But yes, we are considering individuals in our organization and as well as individuals outside the organization."
Wilf was vague when asked what he was looking for in a coach. "We are looking for the best potential candidate that can get us to what we want," he said.
Tice, meanwhile, addressed the media for a final time at Winter Park but did not take questions. "I really appreciate the players and coaches this year for sticking together," he said, a day after the Vikings beat the Chicago Bears to finish 9-7.
"He's continuing to progress right on schedule with things," Barta said. "He's gotten past a couple of hurdles, but it's not around the corner yet. It's going to continue to be kind of week by week and see where he's at. But he's doing well."