The Circle of Life

The tightly-wound fraternity of the NFL is strong. Vikings fans are learning that from different angles as one regime is pushed out the door and a new regime is marching in with the promise of a better tomorrow.

The NFL is a very expensive version of a college fraternity. From the secret handshakes to the pledge of almuni of the fraternity, it's an unwritten rule to take care of your own. The last few days have proven that out at several levels as it pertains to the Vikings.

On the Vikings front, head coach Brad Childress was denied access by the Eagles to other assistant coaches under Andy Reid. Since none of them could make more than a lateral move – defensive coordinator Jim Johnson was going nowhere – the Eagles had the chance to nix any overtures from Childress. To compound matters, one name that may never be repeated at VU is Jason Licht. Who? He used to be the assistant director of player personnel for the Eagles. Now he's the vice president of player perssonel. Why? Because he was being courted by the Vikings to serve as the team's de facto general manager in the newly devised management pyramid of the organization. It marks the second business card order sent in by the Eagles to circumvent the Vikings – before Childress was hired, Zygi Wilf made a run at Philly's Tom Heckert – who was subsequently promoted to general manager to keep him from bolting.

On the former Vikings front, Scott Linehan is now in place in St. Louis and is showing the same loyalty to his coaching roots as Childress has shown with his hiring. Former Vikings assistant quarterbacks coach Randy Hanson has already been offered a position with the Rams. On the flip side, two teams have denied Linehan permission to hook up for former colleagues. Dennis Green and the Cardinals have denied Linehan access to former offensive coordinator Steve Loney, who signed on as the offensive line coach with the Cards. They were also denied a chance to talk to Charlie Baggett, who had the designation of assistant head coach added to his title as receivers coach with the Dolphins.

As the Vikings' assistants disperse around the league and more people with Eagles ties come into the Twin Cities, the circle of life in the NFL continues.

* The Vikings announced the season ticket package prices for 2006 Friday and most represent modest increases. In all, the team offers eight season ticket packages for the 10-game home schedule – the least of which is a $99 package that either includes seats behind a Metrodome support beam or requires the ticket holder to sell 20 hot dogs before being seated (OK, it's not that bad). The other packages are as follows, with the increase from the 2005 season ticket prices in parentheses: $1,110 ($60), $960 ($60), $710 ($30), $670 ($30), $490 ($10), $380 ($20), $320 ($20).
* The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Mike Tice was being considered for the offensive line coach position, but VU has been told that Tice won't accept such a position.
* A similar opening exists with the Rams, where Linehan could tab Tice as an assistant head coach-offensive line coach position, but once again, it's highly unlikely Tice will entertain that offer.
* Tice is a frontrunner to be a studio host for NBC's foray back into the NFL when it kicks off its Sunday night programming next fall.
* Ted Cottrell is being mentioned as a potential candidate for the Rams defensive coordinator position.
* The Vikings hired Kim Klawiter as their new director of security. Klawiter is a retired lieutenant in the Minnesota State Patrol.

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