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EAGAN, Minn. – Not even a full day into his tenure as general manager of the Minnesota Vikings, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is already “deeply involved” in the team’s search for its next head coach, according to co-owner Mark Wilf.
Adofo-Mensah said at its inaugural press conference on Thursday that the talks he has had about candidates are only at the beginning, but that the direction in which the franchise wants to go is clear.
“We know what we want to find,” Adofo-Mensah said. “We want leadership, we want someone who will value the collective rather than the individual, we want someone who has a vision, who can communicate, who has a solid football foundation, who understands how football is connected and what it is. “It’s been our focus for the last few days on intervening in what we want. As for specific names, we’ll meet next and talk about it.”
The Vikings’ search has been narrowed to six candidates, after sources confirmed to ESPN that the Denver Broncos had hired Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett as head coach, and Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn withdrew his name from head coach searches, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Dianna Russini.
Minnesota’s options now include San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell, Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon and Tampa Bay Buccaneers Todd Bowles defensive coordinator.
Adofo-Mensah overlapped in San Francisco with Ryan and O’Connell as he worked on football research and development for the 49ers before being hired by the Cleveland Browns, where he spent the 2020 and 2021 seasons as vice president of football operations.
Wilf said Jan. 10 that the next general manager would have “input” in the choice of the Vikings’ coach. Adofo-Mensah did not specify whether he would have the final say on who Minnesota hires, referring to the decision as “a collaborative process.”
Asked if he wanted full control of the 53-man roster, Adofo-Mensah again postponed seeking a collaborative approach with the team’s next head coach on personnel decisions.
“I always say that with a coach, a coach that I would work with, I would work for,” said Adofo-Mensah. “It’s someone I would like to work with. I would not care about that distinction because they understand about staff and about living today and living tomorrow, which would make us a great partnership. I think I know what the characteristics of my contract say, but I do not think it matters to speak in this forum. “
Minnesota conducted interviews with eight general manager candidates before interviewing Adofo-Mensah for the second time on Tuesday and announcing his appointment on Wednesday. Hans was the only interview in the second round that the Vikings conducted after former Kansas City Chiefs Ryan Poles was hired by the Chicago Bears as general manager before going to an interview in Minnesota.