Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier is likely getting a little frustrated.
Last season, his name arrived on the radar of potential NFL head coaches, via interviews with the Falcons and Dolphins.  Though his sit-down with Bill Parcells likely was (in our opinion) a Rooney Rule sham given that the worst-kept secret was that Tony Sparano was getting the job, the sessions gave Frazier experience for this year’s hiring cycle.
Earlier this month, he had interviews with the Broncos, Rams, and Lions.
Despite a sense that his elevation to a top job was inevitable, it didn’t work out.  Though he says he isn’t frustrated, he undoubtedly is.
But Frazier’s best approach moving forward would be to close the book on the 2009 hiring cycle, focus on his current job, and not say anything at all about why he’s not a head coach.
Instead, Frazier has said that he heard Rams owner Chip Rosenbloom wanted to hire Frazier, but that G.M. Billy Devaney favored Steve Spagnuolo.  (Actually, we’ve heard that Devaney favored Jason Garrett.) 
Likewise, Frazier has explained that a “difference of opinion” with the Lions kept him from getting a second interview for the job that went to Jim Schwartz.

“I can tell you this, we had a difference of opinion in how we saw the current Lions and going forward,” Frazier said earlier this week, according to the Detroit News.  “That was probably the biggest thing in my interview.  We had a different perception.”

Pressed for more details, Frazier said, “I’d rather not get into it.”  And then he got into it.

“[W]e had different perceptions of where to go and the length of time to get there,” Frazier said.  “We were really far apart in that. . . .  I will just say we had a different philosophy and vision for two years from now or a year from now.”

Regardless of how strongly he feels about the reasons for the fact that he’s not a head coach, Frazier’s best approach for ensuring that he’ll eventually become one would be to not talk about why he hasn’t already been hired.

Though NFL coaches are required to handle the media adroitly, part of the challenge is to know what not to say.  And the inability of a head-coaching candidate to move on without griping, directly or indirectly, about missed opportunities might cause some owners to wonder whether Frazier will be able to handle interviews and press conferences without saying things that could hurt the team’s broader interests. 


  1. Gotta agree here Mike. Nobody likes a big mouth or a whiner, even if they’re right. His best move is to keep his mouth shut. There are at least 4 openings a year, usually more. He’ll get one if he can show that he’s not only a good Xs and Os coordinator but also a smart leader with good psychological intuition.

  2. Florio you have taken this Rooney Rule to a whole new level. Owners should be able to hire who they wish of any race. The sham here is that the Rooney Rule exists 50 years after segregation ceased. As a lawyer, you ought to know that Affirmative Action was only meant to be a temporary law in order to make up for past wrongs. Have those wrongs been fixed? We have an a black president.

  3. If Frazier wanted to save face after being rejected by the ugliest girl in the NFL, the right answer was “it was a mutual decision and I am excited about another season with the Vikes…gulp”
    Now speculation. Ford asks Frazier how the Lions reach the Superbowl in 1-2 years. Frazier knows better and says so.
    Doesn’t this signal major gambles instead of building a real program? Maybe Gunther will start by bringing in a bunch of Titans scrubs in attempt to change the culture quickly?
    In the end, Gunther should know better and Detroit deserves better. Still, its Great news for Bears, Packers and Vikes fans.

  4. As a lifelong Vikes fan, Frazier……….. Shut the hell
    up and coach!!
    I was a bit puzzled as to why he’s such a hot prospect
    (other than the Rooney Rule). Our defense has not been
    top of the line. Granted the run defense is stellar, but
    how much coaching does that take?? And the primary
    reason for the run stop was in place before he arrived.
    Frazier…………. Elevate our defense enough to get us into
    the top 10 over all, or better yet, top 5. Then head coach
    will make sense to this Vikings fan. Hopefully, the Vikings
    head coach.

  5. I understand Leslie’s frustration. Everyone wants to advance in their chosen profession, it’s only natural. On the flip side, the endless churning of coaches and coordinators contributes to a lack of continuity on teams. Players have to adjust and adapt to the FNG’s philosophy and methods. A player may blossom under one guy and wither under the next.
    I’m a Viking fan and life-long Minnesota resident and the team has had, what? Three defensive coordinators since Childress took over? It’s a wonder they do as well as they do, defensively. I’m sure there’s even more of an impact on the offense.
    Side Note: Enough of the Slut-Belly, flat stomach ads plastered all over the site, Okay?

  6. Frazier’s most likely opportunity for becoming a head coach is as a (midseason?) replacement for Brad Childress with the Vikes.

  7. If nobody ever said anything, you’d be out of business Florio. The media always rips Childress for not saying anything meaningful or insiteful. Then when someone trys to give a little info, you rip them for that. Cake may not be had and eaten.

  8. <<>>
    Yeah, one guy getting by means there are no problems, just like there aren’t still biases against Black coaches in college. The reason the NFL has come so far in a very short time is that they were proactive.
    On the real subject, Frazier should be laughing. The jobs on offer weren’t as good as the Minnesota job he’ll get next season.

  9. Yeah, I agree with Norseman’s comment earlier, our defense is loaded with talent and has underperformed during Leslie Frazier’s era. All Frazier has done was take over the schemes of Mike Tomlin (who really deserved to be a head coach) and since then our defense hasn’t really improved despite the fact that it’s loaded with a lot more talent.
    So, other than the league sponsored racism that represents the Rooney Rule, what is it exactly that makes Frazier such a hot head coaching prospect?

  10. Frazier is fine he’ll be the head coach of the Vikings after next year. Childress clearly doesn’t have it and everyone will find that out after a fourth year of not getting a QB ready to play.

  11. Frazier should count his blessing that he’s not on the Lions and that he’ll be the next HC of the Vikings. They’ve got a once in a lifetime talent in Adrian Peterson there and a solid D.
    The only thing Frazier needs is a hint of a passing game. Kerry Collins performance this year would have been more than enough.

  12. So he gets to come back and coach what’s easily the best defense in the NFC North and one of the best defenses in all of football in 2009?
    Man. . .sounds like a pretty rough gig.
    I’m happy he’s staying.

  13. Yeah, Leslie only got to his current role because he’s Black.. The only reason he’s being interviewed is because he’s Black. Affirmative Action in the NFL is such a blight on society right now. Segregation ended just a 50 years ago, nevermind the stuff that happened 400 years prior….. Nevermind that Tony Dungy was bypassed for years up until 14 years ago, it’s alright now we have a Half-Black Half White President…..

  14. Hmmm, having a big mouth and saying outrages things didn’t seem to stop a certain Defensive Coordinator from getting a head coaching job in San Fran …

  15. i don’t see why frazier is being touted as high as he is. i concur with many of the posts by you vikes’ fans.
    one thing i don’t unerstand is why you would want frazier as the HC of the vikes. we all know chilly is who he is, but is frazier any better? he didn’t improve the defense any. i haven’t heard one thing about any talents he brings to the table, and that is prolly why he hasn’t gotten a HC job.

  16. Frazier hasn’t done anything?? The pass defense was ranked 32 in ’07, they were ranked 18th this year. This was done without M.Williams for half the season and EJ out the entire year.
    The real story here is the delusion in the Lion’s front office. Frazier told it like it is, the team is a train wreck and its gonna take some time to right the ship. Considering the Vikes face the Lions twice a year Frazier would seem qualified to comment on the current state of the Lions.
    I’m guessing the Ford’s hired the person who told them what they wanted to hear instead of hiring the person who told them what the NEEDED to hear.

  17. I concur with mallet. As a Vikings fan, who has only on occasion gotten to watch the Vikings defense live, I can tell you that the defense is dramatically improved from the one that Tomlin ran 3 years ago. The pass defense isn’t great, but it’s a heckuva lot better than it was…and the defensive line gets a little more pressure. Frazier is actually a significantly better DC than Tomlin was.

  18. fookflorio:
    So are you saying our new president only got the job because he is half black? no wonder you aren’t a SNCO yet.

  19. For those that don’t know, the Vikings defense was actually rated #6 overall. This was due more to the talent they had (even sans EJ), then it was due to coaching. But I got a little feeling that it goes more to the HC then the DC because the same things happen on offense. Chilly wants everyone to play within his system (i.e. keep it close, don’t attack to often) which holds these guys back quite a bit. Heaven help this league if these coaches ever learn how to make an adjustment in game(easiest bet in football, go against Minnesota in the second half).

  20. Can’t blame the guy for wanting to get out of a place where he might be fined for going to a family member’s funeral…

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