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Updated: January 6th, 2011 6:47pm
Reports: Josh McDaniels to interview with Vikings; Singletary next?

Reports: Josh McDaniels to interview with Vikings; Singletary next?

by Tom Pelissero
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On Thursday morning, Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier was noncommittal about Darrell Bevell's future offensive coordinator.

On Friday, Frazier apparently will interview a possible replacement.

ESPN's Ed Werder reported on Thursday night that former Denver Broncos coach Josh McDaniels will meet with the Vikings about an unspecified offensive position.

A short time later, ESPN's John Clayton reported the Vikings also will interview former San Francisco 49ers coach Mike Singletary to be their linebackers coach -- the job held by Fred Pagac, who widely is expected to be promoted to defensive coordinator.

McDaniels, 34, was fired on Dec. 7 after a 3-9 start that also included a videotaping scandal that yielded $100,000 in fines. He was 11-17 in one-plus seasons as Broncos coach, losing 17 of his last 22 games, but came highly regarded following stints as the New England Patriots' quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator from 2004 to '08.

Frazier made clear in his introductory media conference on Monday that he didn't want to be married to any scheme -- including the West Coast offense Bevell directed alone following coach Brad Childress' dismissal on Nov. 22. The firing of three offensive assistants on Wednesday suggested more changes were in store for the offense, and replacing Bevell as coordinator would be a logical next step.

Singletary, 52, was fired on Dec. 27 after compiling an 18-22 record over two-plus seasons. He's close with Frazier from their days with the Chicago Bears and would seem to be a natural fit on the staff.

Should McDaniels be hired, speculation surely would turn to whether the Vikings also would consider pursuing his old signal-caller in Denver, Kyle Orton, whom McDaniels acquired in the trade that sent Pro Bowl quarterback Jay Cutler to Chicago before he'd coached a game.

The Broncos drafted Tim Tebow in the first round of April's draft and started him the final three games this past season -- even though Orton, 28, was among the NFL's leaders with 3,653 passing yards and had thrown 20 touchdowns against only nine interceptions.

Orton's scheduled 2011 base salary ($6.879 million) is outlandish for a backup but relatively reasonable for a starter. And even if the Vikings use a high draft pick on a player with the intention of making him their franchise quarterback, they would need a veteran to bridge the gap as they begin the post-Brett Favre era.

However, the Vikings already are without their third-round draft pick in this year's draft because of the Randy Moss trade and surely would be reluctant to part with another selection while also taking on Orton's salary. The more likely scenario would seem to be the Broncos cutting Orton, although that depends in large part on who gets McDaniels' old job.

Whether McDaniels wants to join the Vikings also remains to be seen. He reportedly was contacted by the San Francisco 49ers about their head-coaching job but said he wasn't interested.

Frazier told 1500 ESPN on Thursday he hopes to have his staff finalized within the next 10 days.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for 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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