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Updated: January 10th, 2012 10:59pm
Mel Tucker interviews with Vikings, but Jaguars want assistant back

Mel Tucker interviews with Vikings, but Jaguars want assistant back

by Judd Zulgad
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The Minnesota Vikings' search for a new defensive coordinator continued on Tuesday night.

The NFL Network reported the Vikings interviewed Mel Tucker, who had been defensive coordinator in Jacksonville before taking over as interim coach for the final five games (2-3) after Jack Del Rio was fired.

Jacksonville hired Mike Mularkey as its head coach on Tuesday and reportedly wants Tucker to return as its defensive coordinator. Tucker's contract expired on Tuesday morning, giving him the ability to talk to the Vikings.

The Vikings interviewed former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris for the coordinator's job last Friday and reportedly also wanted to interview former St. Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo and Mike Singletary, who served this past season as the Vikings assistant head coach and linebackers coach.

While Singletary is expected to speak to the Vikings about the position later this week, the NFL Network reported Spagnuolo is likely to end up back with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Tucker, 40, played defensive end at Wisconsin, began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Michigan State in 1997 and entered the NFL as the Cleveland Browns' defensive backs coach (2005 to '07) and defensive coordinator (2008).

Fred Pagac remains on staff as the Vikings' defensive coordinator, but he's expected to be stripped of those duties. It's unclear if the team would try to move him back to a position coach -- Pagac was in charge of the Vikings linebackers from 2006 to 2010 -- or let him go.

Judd Zulgad is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays and "Saturday Morning SportsTalk" from 10 a.m. to noon on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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