Frazier finally agrees to be interviewed

After a night of making the Seahawks sweat, Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier has decided to sit for an interview for the coaching job that became vacated on Friday, when Jim Mora was fired.

Per Adam Schefter of ESPN, Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke told Frazier that USC coach Pete Carroll “definitely” does not have the job.  (Yet.)  So Frazier has opted to believe Leiweke, and Frazier will interview on Saturday morning.

But here’s the problem, in our view.  Even if Frazier is agreeing to interview under the “anything can happen” premise, he’s interviewing not with a General Manager but with Leiweke.  So unless Leiweke is considering Frazier for the same “keys to the car” role that Carroll would (will) have, Frazier’s interview would make far more sense if the team already had a General Manager.

That’s why we’re convinced this is a sham interview.  If Carroll somehow doesn’t take the job after a day or more of seeing his 2010 recruits scatter, the Seahawks will either target another guy who’d run the show or hire a G.M. who’d then hire a coach of his own. 

But here’s the reality.  Even though the NFL is made up of 32 distinct teams, they are all connected under the umbrella of the league office.  So if Frazier helps the Seahawks out of a jam, his gesture could be viewed very favorably by other teams that might be considering him for head-coaching jobs in the future (or in the present, like the Bills), especially if the Seahawks express their gratitude by raving about Frazier to anyone who’ll listen — and if the league office expresses its gratitude by putting Frazier at the top of the list of guys who will be pushed hard for a head-coaching job, somewhere.

37 responses to “Frazier finally agrees to be interviewed

  1. Total sham IMO.
    However, is it totally absurd to think Mr. Frazier may be getting paid to conduct the interview? If the Seahawks face a potential quarter of a million dollar fine from the league, perhaps Mr. Frazier tells them you pay me half that and we can talk.

  2. It’s really sad the joke the owners are making of “complying” with the Rooney Rule.
    Now they are just dodging it (no better example than in Washington recently), and it’s not really even serving its purpose.
    Until the Commissioner gets serious with punishment that will REALLY hurt an owner (i.e. taking away draft picks, maybe taking away their ability to use the franchise tag, etc.), then they will continue to bypass this by any means necessary.
    What does this also show? That it’s still a “good ole’ boys club” and no one else can get in the door.

  3. while I don’t disagree w/your assement, FLORIO, that IF FRAZIER helps the Seahawks out, that this could benefit him, because they will RAVE about FRAZIER to anyone who will listen,…then aren’t you admitting THE ROONEY RULE is a JOKE??? and since it’s a JOKE, why not get rid of it???… it only gives the perception that the NFL is paying LIP SERVICE to the idea of hiring minority candidates, especially at the expense of a big name college coach, who was FIRED TWICE by NFL TEAMS.

  4. The Redskins got hammered by Florio for making a mockery of the Rooney Rule. I see the Seahawks don’t get the same consideration.
    Anyone care to elaborate as to how this whole situation differs in terms of Carroll interviewing before Mora was dismissed (ala Zorn), Lewis interviewing as a back door compliance (ala Gray) to the Rooney rule?
    In fact, switch the names around and its almost exactly the same. Interesting it doesn’t get the same amount of scrutiny.

  5. Isn’t that the EXACT spirit of the Rooney rule? Not to necessarily have every team hire a minority candidate, but to get minority candidates names out in the circle to improve their chances of getting a head coaching job?

  6. “That’s why we’re convinced this is a sham interview. ”
    One of these days, African American candidates will quit interviewing for these sham interviews. Black coaches need to take matters into their own hands.

  7. Right. If Seattle is going to use Frazier, Frazier might as well use Seattle. Might as well build up the leverage while you can.

  8. Hey, look at how much it helped Sherm Lewis to be the token minority interview for every head coaching job out there. He eventually got his head coaching job, right? Err, not so much.

  9. This is why the Rooney Rule is ridiculous. The thinking went from “You won’t interview me because I’m black,” to “You’re only interviewing me because I’m black.” The more we define black vs. white, the further apart we get.

  10. a lil late there Florio…
    Seahawks reached a deal with Carroll, so what’s Frazier interviewing for? wa wa wa waterboy?

  11. Frazier is a tool and we don’t need him. This proves the corruptness of the NFL and he’s just rolling over like a good little boy.

  12. While the premise of the ‘Roonie Rule’ is good, the forcing of teams to use it is a bit flawed.
    An alternative program allowing minority coaches to intern with the 32 teams makes more sense to me. Giving the intern coaches valuable insight and training on how to coach a NFL team, (just don’t intern in Minnesota under the ‘Sectet Squirrel’) and giving the interns exposure to management/ownership.
    But it will all depend on how ownership supports the program and if they are willing to give these interns a realistic chance at future positions.

  13. Imagine the wait was based on what was in the envelope being slipped under the table.
    Nothing more, nothing less.

  14. Frazier isn’t in a position to turn down interviews. He is a good candidate for a head coaching job, but not to the point where he can be selective. Even though the Seattle thing might look like a long shot, he still is best off just interviewing everywhere, giving a good account of himself, making it look like he’s a hot commodity, and hoping it eventually works out somewhere.
    Most likely this interview amounts to Seattle trying to leverage against Pete Carol and Frazier trying to leverage against Buffalo or some other team that might be considering him. The more interviews you are in the more coveted you seem to other teams.

  15. Of course this a sham interview. Just like Mora being fired is s sham firing. The Hawks are moving at light speed. I think it is a huge risk. To turn over everything so quickly.

  16. Even if he has no shot at the Seattle job expect the Seahawks front office to go to bat for Frazier in pushing him for a head coaching job with another team. Especially if he is impressive in the interview.

  17. A sham interview??? This is a sham rule!!!! You should be able to hire whoever you want wether they are BLACK or WHITE. The rule itself is racist. If you immediatly hire a black coach do you at least have to interview a white person first? The facts are what they are but lets face it, the whole thing is drivin by dollars! There are far more dollars going in the direction of the black players and coaches in this league than that of the white players and coaches. Is this fair? For the most part the owners in this league earned the right to buy their team and deserve the right to employ who they think would best run their business BLACK or WHITE. Stop with the ROONEY RULE because that is what is making this whole thing a SHAM and RACIST! Your efforts as a coach should earn you an interview, not a rule.

  18. Frazier has GOT to know that this is a “sham” interview, based simply on the fact that Leiweke allowed Jim Mora to have a press conference saying that he was looking forward to better things in 2010 while Leiweke himself knew he was going to can Jim Mora within 48 hours.
    So Frazier should know that Leiweke’s word means nothing.
    I’m guessing that Frazier is agreeing to be the “token” interviewee knowing that Goodell will appreciate his getting the Seahawks out of this jam, and will work in Frazier’s favor down the road.
    Doesn’t that make Frazier a bit of an “Uncle Tom” though?
    And by the way, after the Redskins debacle with the Rooney Rule, is there any reason why the Seahawks felt the need to $hit all over themselves in an attempt to sign Pete Carroll – Pete Freaking Carroll??? – BEFORE interviewing a minority candidate first?
    Are they REALLY making Carroll their coach AND president??? Pete Freaking Carroll????
    *scratches head*

  19. Hey Mike-
    This article over at SI might give some insight as to why Frazier is willing to sit for the View.
    Yes, there is no GM, but that doesn’t mean that Petey will get the added title. I have read elsewhere that he just wants to be hired before a GM is so he has say into the matter (Ala Eric ‘The Manboy” Mangini pulled with last year. But, Frazier believes that Pete is not likely to take a HC position unless he is also the GM. But, Pete may be happy with a puppet that he hires.

  20. The Rooney rule is dumb as can be. The Seahawks should sue the NFL and take it to the Supreme Court where they would win. The US is supposed to be about equal opportunity, not this sham of forcing teams to hire black coaches. How about forcing the NFL to have more white players….or some Hispanic players…..or some women players.

  21. Sometimes I think I am the only person who thinks outside of society rules. Why is there even a question as to whether or not this is a sham?
    1) The Seahawks want Carroll
    2) Carroll wants to go to the Seahawks
    3) Every team has to interview a black guy
    4) The Seahawks are interviewing a black guy
    Looks pretty clear cut to me. Whether or not Frazier and the Seahawks have some side deal…hey, if everyone gets something from it, who cares? I’d want Carroll over Frazier, Rhodes, or any of the other black guys out there.

  22. Florio, why do you BASH the redskins for their Rooney rule massacre, but just slide it under the rug for the Seahawks??? in my view the Seahawks and redskins did the same exact thing! both knew who they wanted and are interviewing a minority canadiate just to please the rule, both are as you called it skating around the rule, yet the redskins doing it is the worst thing in the whole decade while the Seahawks get a closed eye to it.

  23. I agree with Sando, he covers it pretty well. It’s like an actor going on an audition for a role he’s not likely to get. It’s still better to be seen than not. And to add some clarity, the rooney rule requires interviewing minority candidates, but it doesn’t force you to hire one. Sando’s post illustrates the reason behind the rule, and how even though these seem like hollow interviews they have value. Like when teams work out veteran players they probably won’t sign, the players benefit from the exposure.

    I used to think the Rooney rule was a joke as well. But let’s not forget about what happened in Pittsburgh a few years ago. Bill Cowher retired and some in house guys were up for the gig – Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm. It was believed to be down to those two. But because of the Rooney rule, Tomlin got an interview and they hired him on the spot.
    That is the way the Rooney rule is supposed to work. It is designed to get somebody’s name out there. It would be wise for Leslie to interview as much as possible.

  25. It looks like Frazier changed his mind to interview could be because he was paid for the trouble. $50K to make a personal appearance?

  26. First off, I don’t like the Rooney Rule. Never have, never will. Even more than that I really dislike the fact that the NFL saw fit to implement the Rooney Rule in the first place. It is a very sad state of affairs that the NFL had to force such a sham rule down the throats of the 32 teams just to require that each team interview a “minority” (I have to place this in big quotes now that we have a “minority” as the President of the country.) candidate for each head coaching job. Why not just require a certain percentage of head coaches be “minority” head coaches? Even if they suck, teams could not fire them because they would hurt the quota. What’s wrong with that? (Total sarcasm here for the people from Philadelphia.)
    I can see the point of those who say the Rooney Rule is racist on it’s face, it is. Where are the “minority” quotas limiting the number of cornerbacks in the league to only 50% or so. Why can’t slow white guys get a chance to play corner? They could be the ones who cover the slow white receivers, right?
    In the end the true effect of the Rooney Rule is that some “minority” candidates get to interview for positions that they have no chance of being hired for, such as in Washington and Seattle. What is really wrong with that? (I have interviewed for jobs in my life that I “knew” I had very little chance of getting. I interviewed anyway.) Any “minority” candidate who refuses to even go one such an interview is really only hurting themselves. When you go on an interview, even for a job you have no chance of being hired for, you gain valuable interviewing experience and you have a chance to shine in the interview. Maybe somebody in that room will be in a position to hire a “minority” head coach one day and they will remember how well you did in the interview.
    In order to comply with the Rooney Rule, a team should announce publicly that they wish to interview X,Y,Z “minority” candidates and if those candidates “decline” to interview the team should be deemed to have complied with the Rooney Rule. Those “minority” candidates who refused to be interviewed should be, in effect, black-balled by the league. That would quickly encourage full compliance with the Rooney Rule, by the teams and more importantly cooperation by the “minority” coaches themselves.

  27. It is a sham interview. Even though I don’t like how he runs a defence, I still respect the guy as a person and not some pawn.

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