Black Sunday

The expected met the unexpected Sunday, as defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell and eight assistant coaches were fired -- a few days earlier than expected.

It was expected that when Brad Childress took over as Vikings head coach that some, if not all, of the Vikings assistant coaches would be fired. But, it wasn't expected until later this week -- or by phone.

Childress, who is in Philadelphia taking care of his personal affairs before coming to the Twin Cities on a permanent basis, fired nine coaches Sunday to get the jump on going after available assistants.

Aside from Cottrell, Childress fired Wes Chandler (wide receivers), Dean Dalton (running backs), Mark Ellis (assistant strength and conditioning), Rich Olson (quarterbacks), Jim Panagos (assistant defensive line and special teams), Kevin Ross (assistant secondary), John Tice (tight ends, assistant offensive line) and Rusty Tillman (special teams).

In all, 10 coaches are no longer with the team that were around a little more than a week ago when the Vikings fired Mike Tice following the team's win over Chicago. Offensive coordinator Steve Loney resigned Friday to take the offensive like coaching job with the Cardinals.

* Packers quarterbacks coach Darrell Bevell is the leading candidate for the offensive coordinator job.
* The team could announce as early as today that Buccaneers secondary coach Mike Tomlin will be the team's new defensive coordinator.
* The Steelers tied the Vikings for second place Sunday in the number of playoff appearances made by the franchise with 22 since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. The Cowboys are first with 23 appearances.

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