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Vikings Coaching Search Rumors: Dan Quinn, DeMeco Ryans, Jim Caldwell, Matt Campbell

Quinn is reportedly high on the Vikings' list, if not at the top, because of his magnetic personality.

Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is high on the Vikings' list of head coach candidates, if not at the top, according to a new ESPN+ story by Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano that goes over the latest buzz and rumors regarding the NFL's eight coaching vacancies.

The Vikings are apparently looking for the next Mike Tomlin, who was their defensive coordinator in 2006 before taking the Steelers job and becoming one of the greatest coaches in modern NFL history. That means finding someone with a "magnetic personality" who would be a change of pace from Mike Zimmer in terms of locker room culture.

Tomlin is one of a kind, but can the Vikings find someone who fits that mold? Dan Quinn certainly has that gear, and I'm hearing he's high on their list, if not at the top. Quinn is intrigued by Minnesota, but pairing with the right general manager is crucial to him, and with his long-standing relationship with Broncos GM George Paton, Denver would have that edge unless the Vikings can appeal to him.

Quinn is a hot candidate in this cycle, as he has interviewed with — or been requested for an interview by — six of the eight teams looking for a coach, including the Vikings. The former Falcons head coach, who reached a Super Bowl in his second year in Atlanta, is beloved by players and had an outstanding first season coordinating the Cowboys' defense this year. He was also a fantastic DC for the Seahawks' Super Bowl teams before being hired by Atlanta.

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The concerns with Quinn are that his best season came with Kyle Shanahan at offensive coordinator and that he went 14-23 over his final two-plus seasons before being fired.

Another candidate on the Vikings' list drawing parallels to Tomlin? 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans. Like Tomlin, he could get a head coaching gig in his 30s after one season as a DC. Ryans, who was an excellent linebacker in the NFL from 2006-15, "has created buzz for his humble confidence, talent evaluation and pedigree."

Two more notes from the ESPN+ story:

  • The Vikings and Raiders requested to interview Jim Caldwell this week, but he declined both requests. "This indicates strongly that Caldwell believes he will get one of the other open jobs ... If I had to bet right now, I'd say Caldwell ends up in Chicago, where former Colts general manager Bill Polian is helping direct the search."
    • Update, from KSTP insider Darren Wolfson: "Told the report that Jim Caldwell turned down a formal request to interview w/ the Vikings is false."
  • Two names mentioned that aren't on the Vikings' current list of eight candidates: Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn and Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell.

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