Darrell Bevell, Brian Murphy free to seek other jobs, Frazier says
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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier has told his two incumbent coordinators they're free to pursue other jobs while their future with the team is clarified.
Frazier said on Sunday night he has delivered a clear and honest message -- "don't wait for me" -- to offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and special-teams coordinator Brian Murphy as the search continues for coaches who could replace them.
"We're trying to get some things done," Frazier said as he left an interview at KSTP-TV's studio. "We'll make some decisions here real soon."
Frazier interviewed Josh McDaniels on Friday as a potential replacement for Bevell, who -- like Murphy and others -- was hired by former coach Brad Childress.
The Star Tribune reported on Sunday former Kansas City and Denver special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will interview for Murphy's job this week, and other interviews are likely to follow as Frazier tries to finalize his first Vikings staff in the next seven days or so.
Bevell and Murphy remain under contract, so the Vikings could block them from interviewing for other coordinator jobs or as position coaches. That Frazier apparently wouldn't exercise that right indicates he's prepared -- perhaps even expecting -- to move on without them.
"One of the things I'm trying to do with all of our coaches, whether you're on the offensive side, defensive side or special teams is just look at everything with an eye towards winning a championship in Minnesota," Frazier said.
"Whichever direction we go in any of those positions or coordinators -- running backs, linebackers, defensive backs -- I just want our fans to know that the point of it is that we're working towards winning a championship with every decision, and that's the whole goal of it."
Though there is some parallel to the situation that unfolded last week in Miami -- Dolphins owner Stephen Ross interviewed Jim Harbaugh, only to sign incumbent coach Tony Sparano to a contract extension after Harbaugh landed in San Francisco -- Frazier said he has been open with Bevell and Murphy about the situation and doesn't want to hold them back if other opportunities arise.
Frazier is in a somewhat uncomfortable position because he was promoted from interim coach, rather than getting his first head-coaching job from the outside.
It's expected any new coach will wipe out most, if not all of his predecessor's staff. But Frazier has working relationships with Childress' guys, many of whom have contracts that run through 2011, and wants to do right by them as well as the Vikings.
Officially promoted on Monday, Frazier let go three assistants in his first week on the job: quarterbacks coach Kevin Rogers, offensive line coach Pat Morris and assistant offensive line coach Jim Hueber. Others, including Bevell and Murphy, remain in limbo.
Frazier declined to comment directly on his interview with McDaniels. All indications are linebackers coach Fred Pagac will replace Frazier as defensive coordinator, but Frazier said that discussion is ongoing.
ESPN reported last week Frazier also planned to interview former San Francisco 49ers coach Mike Singletary, probably to replace Pagac. However, Frazier -- who is close with Singletary from their days together with the Chicago Bears in the 1980s -- laughed at the idea that interview would be necessary.
"I know him pretty good," Frazier said. "I may just call him up on the phone and say, 'Hey, tell me about yourself, Mr. Singletary,' just to mess with him."