Vikings assistants receiving outside interest
This story originally published on
Mike Priefer (Tom Dahlin/Viking Update)
Mike Priefer (Tom Dahlin/Viking Update)
Posted Jan 8, 2013

The Vikings reportedly have two assistant coaches and their assistant general manager receiving interest from other teams.

As the Chicago Bears look to fill their head coaching vacancy, a couple of Vikings assistant coaches have seen their names thrown into the ring.

The Bears have reportedly looked to set up interviews with Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer and special assistant to the head coach Mike Singletary.

It would appear that a former Vikings assistant, Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, is at or near the top of the Bears’ wish list. Chicago was granted permission by Seattle to interview Bevell, but, because the Seahawks are still alive in the NFC playoffs, he can’t be interviewed until after they lose. As a result, Chicago is doing its due diligence with other assistant coaches.

Interestingly, Chicago’s own special teams coach, Dave Toub, is another one of the people being considered for the head coaching position.

Singletary has a long history with the Bears organization as a star linebacker during the Mike Ditka era of the 1980s and has former head coaching experience, having held that post with the San Francisco 49ers prior to coming to the Vikings.

A couple other franchises are also looking at Vikings assistant general manager George Paton for their own G.M. vacancies, according to reports. Paton, who was viewed as a frontrunner for the G.M. job in St. Louis last year before pulling himself out of consideration, is being interviewed this week by both the Cleveland Browns and Carolina Panthers. The Browns fired their coaching staff and general manager a little more than a week ago. The Panthers held onto head coach Ron Rivera but are in the market for a new G.M.

The Browns would be a more attractive short-term position for Paton, since he would likely be hired before a new head coach is brought in and be involved in that process after Oregon head coach Chip Kelly turned down overtures from Cleveland and Philadelphia to remain head coach for the Ducks. In Carolina, the Panthers announced that head coach Ron Rivera will return in 2013, which could create something of a power struggle with his staff in place and Paton potentially taking over a team that already has a power structure in place and a head coach more familiar with the personnel than the new general manager would have.

At this point, Paton looks to be the most likely to leave for a new job elsewhere. His name has surfaced in the past as a potential G.M. candidate elsewhere and some believe it will only be a matter of time before he lands with a new organization. In the case of Priefer and Singletary, it is expected that, unless they wow the Chicago brass in interviews, that they aren’t on the top of the list of head coaching candidates.

One of the downsides of success is that it often results in assistant coaches being pilfered off the coaching roster and offered better jobs elsewhere. Over the last couple of seasons, that hasn’t been an issue with the Vikings, but, given their rise from 3-13 to 10-6 in one season, there is likely to be more interest from other organizations looking to bottle that kind of success for their own teams.

John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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