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Updated: January 18th, 2012 12:45pm
Vikings to offer DC job to Alan Williams; Fred Pagac likely to remain

Vikings to offer DC job to Alan Williams; Fred Pagac likely to remain

by Tom Pelissero
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Alan Williams needs a job. The Minnesota Vikings need a defensive coordinator.

It appears both needs could be filled in the coming days.

According to NFL sources, the Vikings will offer the job to Williams. However, as of late Wednesday afternoon nothing had been finalized between the sides. Williams served the past 10 seasons as the Indianapolis Colts' defensive backs coach and interviewed with the Vikings on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, sources said Vikings assistant head coach/linebackers coach Mike Singletary, who interviewed for the defensive coordinator's position, will have his role as a special assistant to coach Leslie Frazier increased and share the duties of coaching the linebackers.

It appears Fred Pagac will return to handling that position group as well. Pagac was the Vikings linebackers coach from 2006 to 2010 and then spent this past season as the team's defensive coordinator.

He was stripped of that title last week and offered the chance to return to his former role.

Singletary was hired by Frazier, his close friend, last offseason to coach the linebackers after being fired as coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

Williams, 42, worked with Frazier in Indianapolis in 2005 and '06, when Frazier also helped with the Colts' defensive backs and served as a special assistant to Frazier's close friend, then-coach Tony Dungy.

The Colts fired coach Jim Caldwell on Tuesday after a 2-14 season, leaving the fate of Williams and the rest of his staff up in the air.

Williams never has been a coordinator at any level. But hiring him presumably would allow Frazier to stick with the 4-3, Tampa-2 defense he knows best.

The Colts and Chicago Bears -- whose defensive backs coach, Jon Hoke, they reportedly were denied a chance to interview -- play the most pure Tampa-2 base schemes in the NFL. Last season, Indianapolis finished 25th in total defense and 15th against the pass.

There was support within the Vikings organization to make a more radical shift, perhaps even to a 3-4 base front. Frazier's background is in the Tampa-2, though, and he repeatedly has expressed reluctance to make a dramatic scheme change as he enters the second year of a three-year contract.

The Vikings are known to have interviewed at least two other outside candidates, Raheem Morris and Mel Tucker, and reportedly made an offer to Tucker. Both took other jobs.

The Vikings also have done due diligence on former St. Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo and could pursue Juan Castillo if he's let go as Philadelphia defensive coordinator. However, an offer to Williams would suggest they're not willing to wait any longer as candidates land elsewhere.

Williams' background is similar to that of former Vikings defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin, who left Minnesota after the 2006 season to become head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Frazier was brought in to replace Tomlin.

Both Williams and Tomlin played college football at William & Mary and were teammates in 1990 and '91. Both are Virginia natives and worked together in Tampa Bay in 2001, Tomlin as the defensive backs coach and Williams as a defensive assistant.

Like Tomlin, Williams went right into coaching -- and now might follow Tomlin's path to his first coordinator job with the Vikings.

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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In this story: Leslie Frazier