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Vikings Running Out Of Defensive Coordinator Options

We're nearly two weeks out from the end of the Minnesota Vikings' 2011 NFL season, and though the team has been interviewing candidates for the position, Fred Pagac is still the team's defensive coordinator as it stands right now, Mike Singletary is still the linebackers coach, and Joe Woods is still the defensive backs coach. The only casualty thus far from the defense that finished second-to-last in the National Football League in points allowed and allowed opposing quarterbacks to light them up for the second-highest quarterback rating in NFL history is defensive line coach Karl Dunbar. . .whose unit was pretty much the only one that did anything remotely positive in 2011.

Unfortunately, the folks that the Vikings have either interviewed or asked to interview thus far are, apparently, not interested in replacing Pagac. Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris has taken a position as the defensive backs coach with the Washington Redskins, and Jacksonville Jaguars interim head coach Mel Tucker has decided to stay in Florida under the Jags' new head coach, former Vikings' tight end Mike Mularkey. Steve Spagnuolo, on the other hand, has been connected to the Philadelphia Eagles' defensive coordinator position.

The thing about that last one is that the Eagles, like the Vikings, already have a defensive coordinator in place. The Eagles' defensive coordinator is Juan Castillo, a man who was a fairly controversial hire by the Eagles during the 2011 off-season. Castillo was hired as the Eagles' DC despite not having coached on the defensive side of the ball since a job at Kingsville (Texas) High School in the late 80s. (He served as Philadelphia's offensive line coach prior to being named the team's defensive coordinator.)

The Eagles' defense got off to a slow start in 2011, but rebounded to finish the season 10th in the NFL in scoring defense (20.5 points/game allowed), 8th in yards allowed (324.9 yards/game), as well as 10th against the pass and 16th against the run. Of course, it could (quite rightly) be argued that the Eagles' defense has a whole heck of a lot more to work with than Minnesota's does, particularly in the secondary.

The Vikings do still have the option of promoting Mike Singletary to the defensive coordinator position, but there hasn't been word out of Winter Park that he has been formally interviewed yet for the job.

Whatever they're going to do, the team needs to do it quickly. The coaching staff needs to be in Mobile, Alabama for Senior Bowl practice in a little more than a week, and it wouldn't make a heck of a lot of sense for Pagac, Singletary, and Woods to make the trip down there if they aren't going to be retained.