McCombs Calls Staff About Tobin

After getting some of the Vikings' top staffers upset when reading about a potential change in power at the top heading into free agency and the 2003 draft, Red McCombs was on the phone Monday to calm down some jagged nerves.

Nobody likes to hear about potential changes in their own job descriptions by picking up a newspaper. But that was how some Vikings coaches and senior staff members heard about the plan to bring in veteran NFL man Bill Tobin to handle draft strategy.

After denying the reports a day earlier, McCombs contacted many of the top personnel men with the team saying that he is confident in their ability to get the job done. Among those are Rob Brzezinski, Scott Studwell and Paul Wiggin -- the three men who expected to be the decision-makers on draft day, with limited input from Mike Tice.

McCombs reiterated that he didn't want them to think he was undercutting their authority or lost confidence in them, although it is clear McCombs has not been satisfied with the team's drafts the last couple of seasons.

With speculation still swirling about the team being sold, some are wondering if it was McCombs who contacted Tobin or perhaps a new ownership group looking to hit the ground running if the NFL approves a sale of the team shortly after the season. Either way, McCombs maintains he had nothing to do with the speculation of contacting Tobin and has gone to great lengths with the front office personnel to reiterate that position.

* Former Vikings defensive coordinator Foge Fazio is expected to announce his retirement this week. He has told people close to the Browns his intention to quit, but it is said to have nothing to do with the Browns' playoff loss to the Steelers Sunday.
* As expected, Brett Favre at a news conference Monday said he will return to the Packers in 2003. When rumors has circulated over the weekend that he was contemplating retirement, many with the Vikings, Lions and Bears were hoping there was some validity to it. As it turned out, there wasn't.

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