Will this be the week the Minnesota Vikings hire a new head coach? No one knows for sure, but the search for the ninth head coach in franchise history seems to be winding down.
The leading candidate, by all accounts, is believed to be Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, who is expected to fly to Minnesota on Monday and meet with Vikings general manager Ricky Spielman and team ownership for a second interview that will take place on Tuesday, according to the Pioneer Press.
NFL reporter Jay Glazer said Zimmer is the "odds-on favorite" to win the job when he was updating the nation on the latest buzz on Sunday.
"Zimmer told me yesterday he's expecting to go back to Minnesota this week for second interview," Glazer said. "He may not leave."
Viking Update's Tim Yotter does a great job of breaking down Zimmer's 20-year career in the NFL. He's been a defensive coordinator for the last 14 years, leading the Bengals to a top three total defense in four of the last five seasons.
CSNBayArea.com reported that Spielman was expected to conduct interviews with 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman and defensive line coach Jim Tomsula on Saturday before San Francisco played the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Divisional Playoffs. Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is also "in the running" for the job, according to Glazer.
Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press reported that "the team could hire a new head coach by next weekend." NFL Network's Ian Rapoport was hearing last week that Zimmer, Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and an unnamed candidate were the three finalists for the job. That, however, was before interviews with Roman and Tomsula took place.
ESPN's Ben Goessling has been tracking the search, and he notes that the preliminary portion of the search has been narrower than expected, with as many as seven interviews believed to be in the books.