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Updated: January 16th, 2012 6:10pm
Vikings request permission to talk to Colts assistant about DC job

Vikings request permission to talk to Colts assistant about DC job

by Judd Zulgad
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The Minnesota Vikings continued their search for a defensive coordinator on Monday, requesting permission to interview Indianapolis Colts defensive backs coach Alan Williams.

NFL Network first reported the story and indicated the interview should take place on Tuesday morning.

Williams, 42, has been in his current capacity for the past 10 seasons. He worked with Vikings coach Leslie Frazier in Indianapolis in 2005 and 2006, when Frazier also helped with the Colts defensive backs and served as a special assistant to then-coach Tony Dungy.

Williams becomes the latest candidate to replace Fred Pagac, who was reportedly stripped of his coordinator duties on Friday and offered the chance to return to coaching the Vikings linebackers as he did from 2006 to 2010.

Williams' background is very 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.

Williams graduated in 1992 and Tomlin in 1995. Both are Virginia natives and worked together in Tampa Bay in 2001. Tomlin was the defensive backs coach and Williams served as a defensive assistant. Like Tomlin, Williams went right into coaching.

Williams began as a high school coach before joining the William & Mary staff for five seasons (1996-2000).

Given that Frazier might be having trouble finding a coordinator because of the potential lack of security the Vikings' coaching staff will have, Williams is a logical option.

His NFL background is in the Tampa-2, Cover-2 scheme that Frazier wants to run and Williams already is familiar with Frazier as a coach.

Williams is the latest name to join what has turned into a lengthy list of candidates to take over for Pagac.

Former Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris interviewed but was not offered the job and accepted a position as defensive backs coach with the Washington Redskins.

The Vikings interviewed Jacksonville defensive coordinator Mel Tucker and offered him the job but he elected to remain with the Jaguars when new coach Mike Mularkey asked him to continue running the defense. reported Sunday that Todd Bowles was a candidate for the Vikings position. Bowles finished last season as interim coach of the Miami Dolphins, taking over after Tony Sparano was fired. He had been the Dolphins' defensive backs coach and has no experience as a coordinator.

The Vikings also have done their due diligence on Steve Spagnuolo, could be interested in Philadelphia defensive coordinator Juan Castillo if the Eagles replace him and are believed to have interviewed Mike Singletary, the Vikings' assistant head coach/linebackers coach.

If Williams gets the job, it's unknown what would happen to Singletary if Pagac elects to accept the offer to coach linebackers again. Either a new job would have to be created for Singletary or he would be let go.

Frazier and Singletary are good friends, dating to their time as teammates with the Chicago Bears in the 1980s, but Singletary received poor reviews from many for the job he did this past season in his first year with the Vikings.

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.
Email Judd | @1500ESPNJudd | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Leslie Frazier