Hayes Beats the Axe, Quits

While Mike Tice was waiting for the other shoe to drop on special teams coach Jay Hayes, it seems Hayes wasn't willing to wait any longer so he quit.

The future of Jay Hayes with the Vikings was tenuous at best. Singled out by Red McCombs as being the worst part of the Vikings in 2002, changes were expected on special teams -- most likely starting at the top with Hayes.

Apparently unwilling to wait any longer, Hayes quit the Vikings Tuesday to join longtime colleague and friend Marvin Lewis, who was hired earlier this week as the head coach in Cincinnati.

Hayes will coach the defensive line for the Bengals, another job that he takes over in a shambles.

With Hayes gone, Tice is expected to announce the hiring of longtime NFL assistant Rusty Tillman to serve as the Vikings new specials teams coach.

* Dennis Green openly lobbied for the 49ers job opening Wednesday on ESPN. The 49ers let coach Steve Mariucci go Wednesday, which some have attributed to a failed relationship with Terrell Owens. However, Green and Owens had their own war of words when Green blasted Owens last season for the infamous Sharpie incident. If the 49ers intend to hire Green, they had better get that situation resolved or they'll have some of the same problems with Green that they had with Mariucci.

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