And like that, we’ve got a growing list of candidates for the Vikings HC job. Following news that the Vikings requested permission to interview Todd Bowles for the gig, we’ve learned that the organization requested permission to interview six additional coaches:
- Jonathan Gannon, defensive coordinator (Eagles) (via NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero on Twitter)
- Nathaniel Hackett, offensive coordinator (Packers) (via Pelissero on Twitter)
- Kellen Moore, offensive coordinator (Cowboys) (via ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Twitter)
- Kevin O’Connell, offensive coordinator (Rams) (via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on Twitter)
- Dan Quinn, defensive coordinator (Cowboys) (via Pelissero on Twitter)
- DeMeco Ryans, defensive coordinator (49ers) (via Pelissero on Twitter)
Five of those coaches have already been connected to other HC vacancies, but this is the first reported interview request for Ryans. The former NFL linebacker has been on the 49ers coaching staff since 2017, and he was promoted to defensive coordinator last offseason after Robert Saleh left for New York. During his first season in the role, the 49ers defense ranked third in yards allowed and ninth in points allowed.
Of course, the Vikings may not be sticking with only seven candidates. ESPN’s Courtney Cronin tweets that the Vikings have also explored the candidacy of Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph and Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham.
Per Pelissero (on Twitter), the Vikings are hoping to find a replacement for former GM Rick Spielman before they hire a replacement for former HC Mike Zimmer. However, considering the anti-tampering rules, the Vikings only have until Sunday to interview coaches on byes, so they have reason to speak with someone like Hackett ASAP. The Vikings plan to kick off their GM interviews on Sunday, with Titans director of player personnel Monti Ossenfort first in line.