Vikings 2022 head coach tracking: Josh McDaniels and Doug Pederson among top early contenders

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The Vikings cleaned up the house immediately following the 2021 NFL season, firing coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman after eight years as a duo at the helm. Now looking to snap a two-year streak without the playoffs, the franchise is in search mode as it tries to build its next regime.

Who’s on the Vikings’ radar? And who are the favorites for Minnesota’s top job? We’ve got you covered here, with a follow-up to all the latest news and notes regarding their research:

Jan. 13 – Patriots OC Josh McDaniels among top targets?

McDaniels is believed to be a perennial head coaching contender for a Minnesota look, according to SportsTalk 790’s Aaron Wilson, although the longtime Patriots coordinator (2012-2019, 2021-) isn’t ready to lead any interviews before the playoffs. The 45-year-old is a tried-and-true offensive mind, but he infamously quit the job for the Colts in 2018 and struggled as the Broncos’ short-lived coach in 2009-10. It reads like a classic boom or bust rental.

January 13 – Packers OC Nathaniel Hackett should be in the game

Hackett, who has overseen the Green Bay offense since 2019 as Matt LaFleur’s hand-picked coordinator, will likely be on Minnesota’s “top slates” of candidates, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. The 42-year-old has never been a head coach before, but he also has OC experience with the Bills (2013-14) and Jaguars (2016-18). The question is, how much of his success is due to LaFleur and, more so, Aaron Rodgers?

Jan. 11 – Doug Pederson set to interview for head coach

The former Eagles coach is on track to speak with Minnesota after completed or scheduled talks with the Jaguars and Bears, by CBS Sports Insider Jason La Canfora. Pederson has spent 2021 out of football. Previously, he was 42-37-1 as Philadelphia coach from 2016-20, guiding the Eagles to three playoff series and the Super Bowl championship in 2017. As a proven offensive mind and well-known leader loved by locker rooms, he numbers to be a serious candidate.

Jan. 10 – Ole Miss’ Lane Kiffin would be on the radar

Kiffin, who just took over as Rebels coach in 2020, has been the subject of “constant chatter (inside) football circles” regarding the Vikings’ job, by Brad Spielberger of PFF. While the 46-year-old hasn’t been in the NFL since 2007-08, when he went 5-15 as Raiders coach, he went 76-41 in college. He would be a bigger bet for Minnesota, and it’s possible he’ll be considered if the Vikings focus on Ole Miss QB prospect Matt Corral in the 2022 draft, Spielberger speculates.

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