MINNEAPOLIS - It was this time two weeks ago that the Minnesota Vikings, 24 hours after beating the Chicago Bears to finish the 2021-22 season 8-9, parted ways with Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer.
For the third time in four seasons, the Vikings missed the NFC Playoffs under Zimmer.
In the last week, the direction that ownership wants to take the team appears to be taking shape. The Vikings’ management team conducted preliminary interviews with eight candidates to replace Spielman as general manager, and Zimmer as head coach.
We learned late last week that after the initial GM interviews, Ryan Poles and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah are coming to the Twin Cities this week as the two finalists for the new head of the front office. Poles was the sixth of eight interviews, and talked with the Vikings last Tuesday. Poles, 36, played on the offensive line at Boston College and has spent the last 13 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Poles spent this past season as the teams’ executive director of player personnel. Poles has served in multiple scouting roles with the Chiefs before being promoted to the assistant director of player personnel in 2018. Poles is also a finalist for the GM job with the Chicago Bears, and will reportedly talk to the Vikings on Wednesday.
Adofo-Mensah, 40, is currently the vice president of football operations for the Cleveland Browns.
Adofo-Mensah started his NFL career in 2013 with the San Francisco 49ers and spent six years there in football research and development before moving to the Browns' front office. Adofo-Mensah was in the business world before the NFL, working as an associate portfolio manager at Taylor Woods Capital and was vice president/executive director at Credit Suisse as a commodities' trader.
Adofo-Mensah will reportedly have his interview on Tuesday.
On the coaching front, the Vikings have conducted initial interviews with eight candidates. They include:
- Dallas offensive coordinator Kellen Moore
- Dallas defensive coordinator Dan Quinn
- 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans
- Packers’ offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett
- Rams’ offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell
- Rams’ defensive coordinator Raheem Morris
- Buccaneers’ defensive coordinator Todd Bowles
- Eagles’ defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon.
That makes three offensive coordinators, and five defensive coordinators that have interviewed with the Vikings since Zimmer's dismissal.
We'll likely know a lot more about where the franchise is headed later this week.