Monday, January 17, 2022

Rival coach among Vikings’ early head coaching candidates, NFL insider says

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The Minnesota Vikings’ search for a new regime has intensified with an initial list of executive interviews leaked this week.

After signing a new general manager, the Vikings will step up their efforts to find the next head coach.

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Credible reports of Minnesota’s interest in head coaches have been sparse, aside from a leak that the Vikings have already scheduled an interview with former Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson.

ESPN insider Jeremy Fowler’s expectations of an interview with Pederson were correct. If Fowler’s details are correct again, another head coach candidate could soon be confirmed from across the Minnesota border.

While both roles require a quick response and many decisions about player personnel, Viking President Mark Wilf claimed that ownership would take his time.

“We’re not going to engage in frenzy when it comes to chasing this or that,” Wilf said, per Vikings.com. “We’re going to be smart, we’re going to be thorough and we’re going to get the kind of leaders that our players want to follow and that will bring us success on and off the field. That’s how we do it.”

In a recent ESPN article, Fowler and Dan Graziano broke down the Vikings’ early search for new leadership, naming Pederson and Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett as early head coaching candidates.

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Hackett was among several NFL head coaching rumors that Aaron Rodgers called “overdue.”

“It’s a bit overdue to be honest,” Rodgers said Tuesday The Pat McAfee Show. “He’s been in the game for a long time. I think what he did in Jacksonville was pure magic, he brought them within a quarter of the Super Bowl. He’s a great coach. I love spending time with him. He’s a fantastic teacher. He’s incredible in front of the room.”

The son of former NFL assistant Paul Hackett (who won a Super Bowl with the San Francisco 49ers), Nathaniel spent four seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2015-18. He led a Blake Bortles-led Jaguars team to the 2017 AFC title game before Doug Marrone and his coaching staff were fired in 2018. Hackett ended up with the Packers in 2019.

Hackett, 42, quickly took over the Packers locker room with his unconventional but infectious teaching style — one that even won over Aaron Rodgers.

“I think one of the requirements of being a good head coach is being in front of a room. You must have a unique charisma and the ability to captivate your audience. Part of that fascination lies in the way you speak, your rhythm, intonation, and storytelling ability. I think these are underrated qualities that a coach can have. Nate has all of those things,” Rodgers said, per Madison.com. “He has been in football for a long time. His father is obviously one of the legendary trainers of this profession. So he has the pedigree but his presence. He brings such a great positive energy into a room.

“I think any team would be lucky to have him in their squad.”

Hackett has scheduled interviews with the Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos and Jacksonville Jaguars, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

“I think one of the requirements of being a good head coach is being in front of a room. You must have a unique charisma and the ability to captivate your audience. Part of that fascination lies in the way you speak, your rhythm, intonation, and storytelling ability. I think these are underrated qualities that a coach can have. Nate has all of those things,” Rodgers said, per Madison.com. “He has been in football for a long time. His father is obviously one of the legendary trainers of this profession. So he has the pedigree but his presence. He brings such a great positive energy into a room.



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