Found April 04, 2012 on
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There are rarely dull days when it comes to the Minnesota Vikings, but waking up to a report that team owners Zygi and Mark Wilf had approached Bill Parcells to coach and "run the show" was certainly unexpected.
The New York Post delivered the news Wednesday morning that a source said Parcells claimed at a recent dinner with New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton that he was told by Zygi Wilf "to name his price" to both oversee the Vikings' football operations and coach the team.
It didn't take long for the Vikings to refute the report with Vikings' spokesperson Bob Hagan saying, "There is no truth to the media reports."
To be sure, the fit between the two parties would seem odd, especially at this time.
Why would Parcells, who will turn 71 in August, be interested in taking over a team in full-blown rebuilding mode in a division that features the likes of the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions? Parcells likely wouldn't want the challenge of a long-term project, especially when he is being recruited by Payton to fill in as coach for the playoff-caliber Saints. Payton, of course, is suspended for a year as punishment for the bounty program run by former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
No. Parcells' opportunity with New Orleans seems perfect; a one-year chance to add to his legacy -- he was one of 15 finalists for the Hall of Fame this year -- and help out his good friend Payton.
1500ESPN.com's Tom Pelissero reported later Wednesday that "a source with knowledge of the situation" says those conversations happened a long time ago and speculated the talks might have occurred in 2010 when Minnesota fired coach Brad Childress and gave Leslie Frazier the job on an interim basis. Frazier later had the interim tag removed in 2011.
The Wilfs, coming off an appearance in the NFC Championship game in 2009, might have believed the team wasn't far from competing again and reached out to Parcells at the time. Parcells hasn't coached since 2006 after leaving the Cowboys and left the Miami Dolphins in 2010 after spending three years with them as the executive vice president of football operations.
Pairing the rebuilding Vikings with the soon-to-be 71-year-old Parcells just doesn't add up, except in the that the Wilfs are from New Jersey and grew up as die-hard New York Giants fans and watched as Parcells led that team to two Super Bowl wins.
So, where does that leave the Vikings?
The Wilfs appeared to stabilize the team's leadership in January, keeping Frazier despite last year's 3-13 mark, which tied the franchise record for futility. Then they promoted Rick Spielman to general manager, giving him full authority over the roster. Spielman, seemingly with security in his new position, has taken a patient approach this offseason by turning over the roster and preparing for the draft. He is focused on getting younger and cheaper, letting go of aging veterans and not chasing high-priced free agents.
Frazier, stuck with a less-experienced roster, might not have the same job security as Spielman, but no one can realistically expect him to challenge the likes of the Packers, Bears and Lions this season with the team as currently constructed.
The Wilfs' flirtation with Parcells -- if not now, at least in 2010 -- does offer some insight to their thinking. Since buying the Vikings in 2005, they haven't been shy about chasing the big-name or high-priced free agents. They've been willing to spend money on the on-field product. Could they also look to do the same soon when it comes to their coach or general manager?
Parcells now? Highly doubtful. Another big-name coach and executive down the road? Quite possibly.
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A report surfaced in the New York Post on Wednesday morning that
team owner Zygi Wilf is pushing hard to bring future Hall of Fame
coach Bill Parcells to Minnesota to "run the show."