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Vikings interview 2 GM candidates, former assistant Gannon for coaching job

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Vikings interview 2 GM candidates, former assistant Gannon for coaching job

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The Vikings research group met with the eight known candidates for general manager after interviewing Patriots consultant Eliot Wolf and Browns vice president of player personnel Glenn Cook on Thursday.

They previously interviewed Ryan Poles of the Chiefs, Brandon Brown and Catherine Raiche of the Eagles, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah of the Browns, John Spytek of the Buccaneers and Monti Ossenfort of the Titans.

Follow-up talks are expected to take place in person after a virtual first round, and they can start around the playoff schedule. The Vikings are considering at least three candidates from the playoff teams of Poles, Spytek and Ossenfort.

The Giants welcomed three applicants, all from playoff teams, including Poles, for second in-person interviews this week at their New Jersey headquarters. The Bears interviewed Wolf on Tuesday and Cook last week for their GM opener.

Wolf, 39, has just completed his second season as a personnel consultant for New England, his third step after 14 years as the Packers’ assistant in professional scouting. He is the son of former Green Bay general manager Ron Wolf, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Eliot Wolf left Green Bay after interviewing to replace Ted Thompson in 2018 when the team promoted Brian Gutekunst.

Cook, 37, also comes from a professional scouting background. He completed his second year as vice president of player personnel for the Browns after four years as Cleveland’s assistant director of professional scouting from 2016 to 2019. He rated Packers opponents and NFL free agents as a professional scout from 2012 to 2015. Cook’s first NFL job came as a Colts scouting assistant in 2011.

Cook was hired by former Browns general manager Sashi Brown, but was promoted to head of Cleveland’s personnel department under general manager Andrew Berry. The Browns’ recent relevance is due, in part, to better decisions in acquiring veteran talent, from signing center JC Tretter in free agency in 2017 to trade in 2018 for wide receiver Jarvis Landry.

Wolf spent two years as assistant general manager for the Browns in 2018-19. He had a brief stint with the Seahawks, consulting for Seattle general manager and former Packers staffer John Schneider for the 2020 draft, before joining the Patriots. Bouncing between the Browns and Seahawks after more than a decade in Green Bay has been cited as a reason Wolf brought value to Bill Belichick’s Patriots.

“Two organizations in the last two years,” Belichick said in 2020. “A fairly recent background of other philosophies, other ways of doing things. Certainly he was able to help me in terms of, ‘Throw take a look at this here is how we did this maybe this is something we tried and we don’t want to do it that way [or] it could be something that’s, ‘No, I hadn’t really looked at it that way, that’s a pretty good idea.’ It’s good to generate new ideas like that.”

Also on Thursday, the Vikings spoke to Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon — the Vikings’ assistant defensive backs coach from 2014 to 2017 — for the head coaching job. On Wednesday, they interviewed Cowboys coordinators Dan Quinn and Kellen Moore.

The new general manager will have a say in the hiring of the head coach, according to co-owner Mark Wilf, but the search team continued preliminary work on the candidates with Gannon, who was a highly valued assistant to the Vikings. He’s sparking interest in the league, having already spoken with the Texans and Broncos about their openings.

In his first year as coordinator, Gannon’s Eagles defense ranked 10th in yards allowed (328.8/game) and 18th in points allowed (22.6). Philadelphia (9-8) won the NFC’s seventh seed but lost to the Buccaneers, 31-15, in the NFC playoff round.

The Vikings, for their coaching position, have also requested to speak with Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans and Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’ Connell. Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was the first to interview via videoconference on Sunday.

Vikings interview 2 GM candidates, former assistant Gannon for coaching job

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