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Monday Morning Mailbag: Vikings Kick Off General Manager, Head Coach Interviews

Do you have a comment or question? Send it to the Mailbag! Every Monday we'll post several comments and/or questions as part of the Monday Morning Mailbag. Although we can't post every comment or question, we will reply to every question submitted.

Click here to submit a comment or question to the Mailbag, which is presented by FedEx. Remember to include your name and town on the email. The questions below have been edited for clarity.

You can also send Eric a Mailbag question via Twitter.

Only 32 people hold those jobs … and most fail. Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer both did a really good job. It was painful this season, but now we roll the dice. I guess I disagree on both of them being let go. Thanks for everything, Mike and Rick.

— Jack (just an old Vikings fan)

It's been quite a week for the Vikings, who announced seven days ago that Spielman and Zimmer would not be coming back in their respective roles.

If you missed a special edition of the Mailbag that dove into the tenures of Spielman and Zimmer, that can be found here.

But I did want to point out a specific line in Jack's email that caught my eye … that the Vikings are now rolling the dice by looking for a new general manager and head coach.

In a sense, yes, there is always some risk associated with change. That's true whether you're the Wilf family in this situation, and it's also logical to believe when you start a new job, or tackle a new hobby or life passion.

And while there is some risk in that aspect, there is also a calculated plan that the end result will turn out even better than what the current situation was.

If the new general manager and head coach can team up and lead the Vikings to that elusive Super Bowl, nobody will ever question the decision to make these moves. Heck, even if the Vikings can even get to the big game (Jan. 9, 1977 was a loooong time ago), then the moves will have been the correct ones.

That's the 30,000-foot view, of course.

Even smaller successes such as stronger collaboration in the building, being back in the playoff picture and a bit more consistency in first-round draft picks will also be necessary in helping the Vikings reach their full potential.

With a week to digest the news, I'll reiterate that neither Spielman or Zimmer did a horrible job here. Both had their peaks, and both had some valleys, too.

But there is a fresh aura and vibe around the Vikings right now, especially with general manager and head coach interviews kicking off this past weekend.

I hope that ownership sees the need to create a youth movement regarding the coach hiring!

— Wendell Mossman

I'd caution against looking for one specific trait when perusing through some candidates who might be the next head coach of the Vikings.

In fact, here is what Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf said last week when he outlined what the search process would entail:

"That includes making sure the net is cast wide. That includes diversity, that includes all kinds of backgrounds, includes all kinds of experiences," Wilf said. "We're not limiting, and we certainly embrace — we're very proud of our track record, and we're going to continue to be elevating where we can in that area."

The Vikings will look at coaches with expertise on both sides of the ball. They will look at candidates who traveled different paths to get to where they are.

And they will certainly look at a vast age range when selecting candidates for initial interviews.

I get what Wendell is saying, and there has certainly been a trend of late of hiring coaches on the younger side in recent years.

But a coach can be successful no matter what their age is. Bill Belichick, Andy Reid and Bruce Arians are coaching legends and still going strong in their 60s.

There's roughly a 35-year age gap between the youngest and eldest coaches in the league right now.

Will the Vikings find someone in that range? It's very likely.

Does that mean that will soon have someone on the younger side of that spectrum? No.

I know it's a waiting game right now, but the process will play out.

Why do the Wilfs feel just the GM and HC spots needed to be replaced? With our offensive talent, we should have been scoring 40 points a game. Hopefully, the new GM and HC will also do some housekeeping.

— John Raiano

That will all get figured out in due time, and it depends on who is hired in each role as the new general manager and head coach.

Yes, there is a chance that Minnesota's coaching staff looks a bit different than it did in 2021, simply because of the change at the top.

But keep in mind that is not always the case. And a great example of that — we'll use a coach who is no longer on staff — is Kevin Stefanski.

He spent his first three seasons in Minnesota (2006-08) as an assistant to the head coach, and part of that role included picking people up from the airport when called upon.

Stefanski, of course, is now the head coach for the Browns. But keep in mind that he was on staff for three different head coaches in Brad Childress, Leslie Frazier and Zimmer.

Another thing to keep in mind here is to have a bit of empathy for those involved.

Nobody roots for anyone to be fired, and the departures of Spielman and Zimmer will likely mean some turnover in some parts of the organization.

These are people who have worked tirelessly for the Vikings. People who have families. People who are trying to build lives and careers, too.

I understand the sentiment of wanting change, but there's a human side to all of this, too.

Rumor has it the Bears are interested in Spielman as GM and Frazier as the HC. This would be bad for the Vikings. And why would the Vikings want anybody from the Eagles when they can't draft and passed over Justin Jefferson.

— Steven Baker

I included Steven's email because I wanted to get a few things out of the way as the Vikings embark on these pair of searches.

To start, the Mailbag isn't going to be your source for entertaining rumors and what this person said or what the guy at the bar wants to happen.

And you won't read me championing for any particular candidate, too.

The first GM and head coach interviews are done, and you can find those confirmation stories on as they get completed.

But in the interest of fairness and being unbiased, I'm not going to dive into one person's résumé and then not write about another potential candidate.

Instead, each of them will be given the same space here, which is almost none until actual hires have been announced.

Let's all sit back and enjoy the ride.