Before the Vikings are scheduled to interview finalists this week for general manager, they've completed initial discussions with the eight known candidates for head coach.
The Vikings interviewed 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans on Sunday, the team announced, a day after his defense was the driving force in San Francisco's 13-10 win over the NFC's top-seeded Packers during Saturday's divisional playoff game.
The 49ers will play against the Rams on Sunday in the NFC Championship Game.
The Vikings' internal search team has already interviewed Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris and Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell.
Ryans, 37, is a former All-Pro linebacker for the Texans who last played for the Eagles in 2015. He just finished his fifth season as a 49ers assistant coach and his first as coordinator after taking over for Robert Saleh, who was hired as Jets head coach last year.
San Francisco's defense improved statistically in Ryans' first season, ranking third in yardage allowed (310/game) and ninth in points allowed (21.5/game) while earning the NFC's sixth seed. They've played especially well when needed most; since falling behind 17-0 to the Rams before halftime of the regular season finale, the 49ers defense has allowed just 3.4 points per quarter in wins against the Rams, Cowboys and Packers.
Follow-up discussions with two general manager candidates are scheduled in Eagan this week. The Vikings will host Browns Vice President of Football Operations Kwesi Adofo-Mensah on Tuesday, and Chiefs Executive Director of Player Personnel Ryan Poles on Wednesday.
The Vikings' new general manager will have a hand in deciding the franchise's 10th head coach. Candidates from remaining playoff teams — Ryans, O'Connell, Morris — can't talk again until after conference championships.