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New Vikings regime could be ‘breath of fresh air’ as improving culture plays key role

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EAGAN, Minn. – Whomever the Minnesota Vikings hire as their next head coach has an important order of business: fix the disconnect between players and coaches.

When Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf fired coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman on Monday, it became clear that players, ownership and many inside the organization felt a culture shift was needed to move the franchise in the right direction. Zimmer did not address his former team but released a statement thanking “The players who welcomed me in 2014 and believed in me that I could lead them to be great.”

Comments from players who spoke in the aftermath of Monday’s firings – both publicly and privately – weren’t flattering of certain ways Zimmer led his team, and they shed light on issues behind the scenes. The Vikings already have eight confirmed interviews with GM candidates that will take place in the coming days, a list that includes Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Brandon Brown, Glenn Cook, Monti Ossenfort, Ryan Poles, Catherine Raiche, John Spytek and Elliot Wolf.

Led by chief operating officer Andrew Miller, the Vikings have formed an internal committee to help pick the next GM instead of hiring a search firm.

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