Vikes Sign Ferraro

The Vikings' slew of coach and front office hirings appears to finally be over, as word of the hiring of Carolina assistant Paul Ferraro comes on the heels of the confirmation that Fran Foley has agreed to a deal as personnel director.

The Vikings under Red McCombs were frugal at best. With one of the smallest coaching staffs in the league, saving money was the primary objective. Zygi Wilf clearly has a different approach and, since the hiring of Brad Childress as head coach about three weeks ago, the Vikings have cleaned house of former Mike Tice assistants and brought in a bevy of their own coaches.

What looks to be the last of those hires -- the special teams coordinator position -- came down Wednesday, as the team agreed to terms with Panthers assistant special teams coach Paul Ferraro.

While many of the other coaching hires have been promotions, most of the new Vikings coaches have considerable experience at handling the duties of their new positions. Ferraro seems to be something of a change of pace in that regard. While he's been a coach for almost a quarter of a century, he's only spent one year as a special teams coach -- last season assisting with that position in Carolina.

Prior to heading to the Panthers, Ferraro spent 2001-04 as defensive coordinator at Rutgers. Before that, he spent 1999-2000 as the defensive backs coach for Georgia Tech and 1991-98 as the defensive coordinator at Bowling Green.

With Ferraro's hiring, it appears as though the Vikings' coaching roster is complete. Childress said earlier this month that he may or may not hire an assistant head coach, and to this point none of his position coaches have been given that tag.

Now the focus will turn to player personnel, where the hiring of Foley should start the wheels in motion for the Vikings to begin evaluating player personnel to come up with a game plan for the team heading into free agency. With several needs and between $20-25 million in available cap room depending on which amateur capologist you ask, the Vikings promise to be busy players in the offseason reshelving of talent. But, as they head into free agency in March, they already have one part of the equation completed -- an enthusiastic coaching staff ready to make its own mark on the NFL.

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