MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A little more than two weeks into his first head coaching job, Leslie Frazier has finally put together the staff that he hopes will help him turn around the Minnesota Vikings.
The Vikings announced the primary assistants to Frazier on Wednesday, including Mike Singletary as special assistant to the head coach/linebackers coach.
Former Atlanta Falcons quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave was hired as the team’s new offensive coordinator, former Denver special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will take the same job with the Vikings and Fred Pagac will remain on staff as the defensive coordinator.
Singletary actually broke the news of his hiring a day earlier on a Chicago radio station. He said that he is looking forward to joining forces with his close friend.
Singletary spent most of the last three seasons as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers and his friendship with Frazier dates back to their playing days together with the Chicago Bears.
“It’s a great honor and a tremendous opportunity that I would have a chance to coach with Leslie,” Singletary said in a statement issued by the team. “He’s a quality coach and I know that to be a part of something that he’s doing is special. When I look at what they have put together as an organization they have a lot of the pieces in place to do some special things. I’m excited to come there and be a part of that and help take it to the next level.”
Musgrave replaces Darrell Bevell, who was the offensive coordinator all five seasons under previous head coach Brad Childress. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Bevell was going to interview for the offensive coordinator position in Seattle on Wednesday.
The team also interviewed fired Broncos coach Josh McDaniels, but he wound up taking the offensive coordinator position in St. Louis.
Musgrave worked with Matt Ryan in Atlanta, but likely appeals to Frazier because of his work in the Falcons’ run-first system. Frazier has said that running back Adrian Peterson should be the focal point of the Vikings offense going forward, especially with Brett Favre not coming back.
“The players on the offensive side of the ball are very attractive to be associated with,” Musgrave said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to utilizing their strengths to get fantastic results. The offensive weapons on this squad are impressive.”
Priefer spent the previous two seasons running the special teams in Denver. In Minnesota he’ll work with established punter Chris Kluwe and kicker Ryan Longwell, if he is re-signed.
“I have kind of been envious of the core special teams guys here in Minnesota,” Priefer said. “We had some good players in Denver but I know there are some outstanding players there in Minnesota and I look forward to working with them.”
He will have to get a crash course in current events, however. As part of his statement, Priefer said he was looking forward to playing indoors at Mall of America field.
“I’m very excited to play at Mall of America Field, especially late in the year,” he said. “Having a domed stadium is a definite advantage I think for both teams. You have to look at it as a kicking advantage for your guys that do that every week.”
Just one problem — the Metrodome’s roof collapsed under heavy snow in December and has yet to be repaired, leaving some doubt as to where the Vikings will play next season.
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