The search for the next head coach is officially underway, led by Vikings general manager Rick Spielman, who hopes to hire the next coach before the Senior Bowl on Jan. 25. It’s not a hard deadline however.

“Talking to ownership, we will be very busy,” Spielman said. “I just told them, don’t plan on any stadium meetings for the next two weeks.”

Spielman said he expects to have interviews lined up within the next three or four days. He’s divided potential candidates in 13 categories as part of the organization’s extensive search.

The categories include former NFL coaches, defensive and offensive coordinators without head coaching experience, former NFL head coaches holding coordinator positions and college coaches without NFL experiences to name a few.

“The one thing I can tell you though as we did our research and looked to see if there was any specific category that was more successful than the other – there wasn’t,” Spielman said. “So that’s why we have to do this extensive process, and we have to go out and find the right head coach we think is going to lead us into the future and to give us the best chance to take the next step forward.”

The Vikings are one of six teams currently seeking a head coach, but Spielman feels the organization’s vacant position is a “very attractive job.”

"I think when you talk to people on the outside, that the young talent that we do have on this roster, with all the new coming in, the new stadium and potential facilities online coming in, I don’t think we’re in a total rebuilding mode,” Spielman said. “A coach is going to come in as a partner that I look to work hand-in-hand with and we have great ownership that is willing to put whatever it takes to put a winning product on the field. We’re going to be in a great cap situation, it’s a situation where a head coach comes in and I feel it can be a quick turnaround.”

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