The Cleveland Browns hired Pat Shurmur as their new head coach Thursday, a decision that could impact the Minnesota Vikings' 11-day search for an offensive coordinator who might or might not replace the still-employed Darrell Bevell.
The Vikings interviewed Josh McDaniels for the position Jan. 7, but it has been widely speculated that he was awaiting Shurmur's fate in hopes he could be a candidate to replace him with the St. Louis Rams. My NFC West colleague Mike Sando notes that hiring McDaniels would force a scheme change on quarterback Sam Bradford, but don't underestimate the power of agent Bob LaMonte.
LaMonte represents McDaniels, Shurmur and Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo. He also represents Vikings coach Leslie Frazier, which might explain the timing of McDaniels' interview with the Vikings. Bradford is the big difference between the two jobs; the Vikings have no such franchise quarterback in place.
McDaniels is the only candidate known to interview for the Vikings' offensive coordinator job. So if he goes to St. Louis, does that mean the Vikings will stay with Bevell? And if he doesn't, would he sign up with the Vikings?
Frankly, I don't know the answer to either of those questions. The Vikings have kept their plans pretty close to the vest. As we discussed earlier this week, it's poor form to interview replacements for incumbents who remain on staff. But for all we know the Vikings have already informed Bevell of his impending departure.