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Updated: January 10th, 2012 11:14am
Vikings request interview with Mel Tucker; Steve Spagnuolo to Philly?

Vikings request interview with Mel Tucker; Steve Spagnuolo to Philly?

by Tom Pelissero
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The Minnesota Vikings have taken another step in their search for a defensive coordinator.

According to several reports, the team on Tuesday requested permission to interview Mel Tucker, who spent the past three seasons as the Jacksonville Jaguars' defensive coordinator and finished this past season as interim coach after Jack Del Rio was fired.

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). The Jaguars reportedly want to retain him, but his contract expired early Tuesday morning.

Fred Pagac remains on staff as the Vikings' defensive coordinator, but he's expected to be stripped of those duties. Coach Leslie Frazier went through a similar process last January, when he kept offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and special-teams coordinator Brian Murphy on staff while interviewing potential replacements.

The team interviewed former Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris on Friday and reportedly planned to meet with at least three other candidates -- Tucker, former St. Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo and Mike Singletary, who joined the Vikings as assistant head coach/linebackers coach a year ago -- before making a decision.

However, NFL Network reported that Spagnuolo is expected to rejoin the Philadelphia Eagles by week's end.

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