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The Minnesota Vikings fired Mike Zimmer on Monday, leaving the franchise to begin a coaching search for the first time since 2014.

While co-owner Mark Wilf said the Vikings would look to replace general manager Rick Spielman first, fans will be more interested to see who will replace Zimmer.

There are several interesting candidates for the Vikings and here are some names to keep an eye on.

Doug Pederson

Pederson's name may invoke anger from Vikings fans after the 2017 NFC Championship Game but he brings several qualities the team should be looking for in their next head coach.

An offensive guru, Pederson knows how to work with quarterbacks. During his time in Philadelphia, he made Carson Wentz an MVP candidate in 2017 before he tore his ACL. With his star quarterback down, Pederson turned to Nick Foles who went on a tear to lead the Eagles to the Super Bowl.

But his relationship with Wentz deteriorated and 2017 was the only year where the Eagles ranked top 10 in total offense. His success also could have been helped by Frank Reich, who is now the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.

Brian Flores

The Miami Dolphins made a surprising move by firing Flores on Monday and the Vikings could capitalize by scooping him up.

Flores got off to a 1-7 start this season but helped Miami win eight of their final nine games to finish 9-8. A disciple of the Bill Belichick coaching tree, Flores' defense ranked sixth in points allowed in 2020 and he established a strong relationship with his players.

But according to The Ringer's Benjamin Solak, Flores's demise had more to do with his relationship with owner Stephen Ross, general manager Chris Grier and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, which might sound all too familiar to Vikings fans.

Byron Leftwich

If the Vikings are looking for a young, offensive mind, Byron Leftwich might be their best option. 

Leftwich has helped Tampa Bay rank no lower than sixth in three seasons with the Bucs, but his association with Bruce Arians and Tom Brady could scare some teams off. 

Arians gave his offensive coordinator a ringing endorsement, however, said in an interview with Colin Cowherd that he doesn't even go to offensive meetings because he trusts Leftwich.

"I get way too much credit for the offense," Arians said in November. "Leftwich runs this offense from top to bottom and he doesn't get enough credit for it."

Kellen Moore

Vikings fans may remember Moore as the offensive coordinator that helped Cooper Rush beat Mike Zimmer on Halloween. But they soon could know the 33-year-old wunderkind as their new head coach.

Moore has spent three seasons as the offensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys have finished first in total offense twice and his innovative offense dates back to when he was collecting playbooks and drawing up his own plays in high school.

His success with Dallas and his background have made him a hot coaching candidate as the Jacksonville Jaguars and Denver Broncos have already requested an interview.

Hiring Moore could fall into the trap of trying to find the next Sean McVay. But as another innovative offensive mind, it would be a change in philosophy from Zimmer.

Lane Kiffin

There's some early steam connecting the Vikings to Kiffin thanks to Pro Football Focus' Brad Spielberger.

Kiffin has roots in Minnesota after his father Monte Kiffin served as the Vikings' offensive coordinator for the 1991 season. He also developed Matt Corral into one of the top quarterback prospects in this year's class and could be looking for a return to the NFL.

The bad news is that Kiffin's first stint with the Oakland Raiders lasted just 20 games before he was fired in 2008. Now 46 years old, Kiffin could be looking to return to the NFL. 

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