Eight Is Enough

Thusfar, eight of the NFL's 32 teams are in the process of changing their head coach -- a figure that got bigger Tuesday with the firing of Norv Turner in Oakland and one that could still grow larger.

The Vikings' push to get a new regime in place of the recently fired Mike Tice has taken a hit because a full 25 percent of the league is in the process of replacing head coaches.

Thusfar, aside from Tice, coaches Steve Mariucci, Mike Sherman, Dom Capers, Jim Haslett, Mike Martz and Norv Turner have all been fired -- as well as Dick Vermeil retiring. Add to that the anticipated firing of Mike Mullarkey of the Bills later this week and that number could reach nine. What makes that number more frightening to some is that it could have been higher. Denny Green fired some assistant coaches to keep his job and Herm Edwards has been on thin ice for most of this year -- which could have potentially brought that number as high as 11 -- more than one-third of the league.

The result has been a mad scramble akin to a gold rush for teams that is typically limited to player free agency. Teams are scrambling to re-sign their own people -- which is what scuttled any Vikings plans to hired Tom Heckert as a general manager type and Gregg Williams as a potential head coach.

As a result, the push to move fast has become even more pronounced. With so many teams looking for a new head coach and, in the process, a new assistant coaching staff, it has become imperative for the Vikings to get someone signed as soon as possible. In this instance, if you wait too long, the hot candidates will be gone.

* Ted Cottrell, who interviewed for the Vikings head coaching job yesterday, is expected to interview for a defensive coordinator opening with the Chargers.
* Steve Loney has been given permission to talk to Green and the Cardinals about an opening as offensive line coach. Former Viking Everett Lindsay was fired from that post.
* Former Vikings offensive coordinator Scott Linehan is scheduled to be one of the first interviews for the vacant Texans head coaching job.
* Wes Chandler is expected to sign on as receivers coach of the Ravens.
* The Vikings signed DL Eric Taylor, who was on the practice squad in 2005, to a two-year contract.
* Daunte Culpepper and Bryant McKinnie won't be making their scheduled court appearances Thursday. Both submitted not guilty pleas in December through their attorneys and will move forward to the trial phase. A similar plea is expected from Moe Williams today. There's no immediate word how Fred Smoot is going to proceed.

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