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So, Now What?

Now that Mike Tomlin has officially left Minnesota to be the coach of the Steelers, what are the Vikings going to do in terms of a replacement?  Not surprisingly, what with this being the new "Hogan's Heroes" version of the Vikings. . .


But amidst all the secrecy/paranoia, a few names have surfaced as potential candidates for the job.  Let's briefly take a look at a couple of them.

In-House Candidates

DL Coach Karl Dunbar and LB Coach Fred Pagac - I've got the feeling that it's going to be one of these two gentlemen that eventually ends up with the job.  Why?  Because it would be much easier to keep the continuity and the momentum that last year's defense established going into next season with someone that's already worked in the system for a year than it would be to bring in someone completely new from the outside.

Dunbar has gotten a lot of praise for his work with the Vikings' defensive line this year. . .but, then again, the Vikes have had a lot of talent on the D-line for a while, and this year they finally seemed to put it all together.  The law firm of Williams & Williams has always been pretty good, and he did have 2 #1 picks at the DE positions to start the season as well.

Pagac, on the other hand, took a linebacker unit that had been pedestrian at best for the past 4-5 years and turned them into a VERY good overall unit.  E.J. Henderson had, easily, his best year as a pro under Pagac's guidance. . .Napoleon Harris had a great 2006 after being a complete non-factor in 2005. . .Ben Leber was a very good OLB. . .and, remember, Chad Greenway (who was supposed to at least be a contributor this year) played exactly one-half of one quarter of one pre-season game before being lost for the year.

Henderson and CB Fred Smoot have both come out in support of Pagac, while Pat Williams has mentioned his endorsement of Dunbar.  If it comes down to these two men, the recent youth movement for contributors might play a role.  Dunbar is only 39 years old, while Pagac is 15 years his senior.

Outside Candidates

I don't know a whole lot about these outside candidates, so I'll just sort of go with what I've seen on the 'net.

Kevin Cosgrove, University of Nebraska Defensive Coordinator - Has a connection to the University of Wisconsin, which has to put him on Brad Childress' short list immediately.  He's a bit on the older side, too, clocking in at 51 years of age.  Nothing to see here, really.

(Now, watch him get the job.)

Sean McDermott, Philadelphia Eagles Secondary Coach - Hey, the Eagles' secondary is pretty good.  Maybe this guy can coach a little!  He also played safety at William and Mary, which means he may have played with former DC Mike Tomlin and/or current Viking Darren Sharper.  He's only 32 years old, which (as stated above) may work as a plus for him.

(If any of our readers reader that follow the Eagles can shed a bit more light on Mr. McDermott, it would be appreciated.)

The "Long Shot Candidate That It Would Be So Great To Have But There's Really No Chance Of Him Coming Here, So Why Am I Bothering?  Because It Would Be Awesome, That's Why!" Candidate

Bo Pelini, Louisiana State University Defensive Coordinator - He's young (39 years old), he's smart, he's innovative. . .and, really, there's no chance in hell that he's leaving Baton Rouge, so yeah. . .there you go.

Those are the names that I've heard to this point.  I guess there's the chance that someone they might want to talk to is still coaching at this point, but those are the names that are being circulated at this point in time.  I still think it's ultimately going to come down to the two in-house candidates.

That's all for now, folks. . .continue enjoying your weekend!