Updated: January 17th, 2012 8:53am
Bears deny Vikings' request to interview secondary coach Jon Hoke

Bears deny Vikings' request to interview secondary coach Jon Hoke

by Tom Pelissero
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It's becoming increasingly clear Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier wants to save his Tampa-2 defense -- and find someone who can teach it to his secondary.

The Bears have denied the Vikings' request to interview defensive backs coach Jon Hoke for their defensive coordinator job, the Chicago Tribune reported on Tuesday.

This, one day after a report surfaced the Vikings have received permission to interview Indianapolis defensive backs coach Alan Williams for the same job.

That's notable because Chicago and Indianapolis run the most pure Tampa-2 defenses remaining in the NFL, while roughly a dozen teams such as the Vikings actually play more of a base Cover-2.

Hoke, 54, has coached defensive backs for nearly three decades at the pro and college levels, with coordinator stints at Kent State (1989 to '93) and the University of Florida (1999 to 2001).

Teams can block their assistants from interviewing for coordinator positions because that's not considered a promotion under NFL rules. But the Colts cleared the Vikings to talk to Williams, who reportedly was to interview for the job on Tuesday.

The Vikings previously interviewed Raheem Morris and Mel Tucker, who both have backgrounds coaching defensive backs as well. Two other reported candidates, Steve Spagnuolo and Todd Bowles, also have experience coaching the secondary.

That seems a direct reaction to the struggles of the Vikings' secondary last season and the distrust that built between defensive backs and coordinator Fred Pagac.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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In this story: Leslie Frazier