It’s become an annual ritual in Vikingland: watching teams with head coaching vacancies court defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.
On Thursday, the Bills sent representatives to Minneapolis to interview Frazier, who otherwise is spending his time preparing for the Vikings’ playoff game a week from Sunday. There’s been no word yet on how that interview went, but the Bills are believed to have Bill Cowher at the top of their wishlist, and may only be covering themselves by interviewing other candidates.
The Seahawks’ opening was created on Friday when they fired head coach Jim Mora. The team’s interest in Frazier was announced within seconds of Mora’s dismissal, but Frazier just as quickly declined an invitation to be interviewed.
It has since come out that the Seahawks are hot for USC head coach Pete Carroll, a circumstance that likely signaled to Frazier that the Seahawks were not really interested in him, but only requested an interview in order to comply with minority hiring rules. Hence his decision not to speak to them.
Given all the interest Frazier has garnered in recent years, legitimate or Rooney Rule-related, it seems inevitable that someone will snap him up as a head coach. He is highly respected among his players and folks around the league, and is seen as a guy whose leadership skills make him an ideal candidate to move from coordinator to head man.
The Vikings, as we know, have a history of sending defensive coordinators on to successful head coaching careers. Tony Dungy moved from the Dennis Green staff to ultimate Super Bowl glory with the Colts (after a little stint in Tampa), and in more recent years, Mike Tomlin went from running Brad Childress‘ defense to leading the Steelers to the promised land.
There are plenty of Viking fans who still haven’t forgiven the organization for keeping Green and letting Dungy go. Almost as many are bitter that Tomlin was not elevated to head coach and Childress put out to pasture.
If Frazier leaves, a few will probably grumble that we allowed another top coaching talent to defect while holding on to a turd.
And, even worse, we will have to find another defensive coordinator. We got lucky twice in a row with Tomlin and Frazier. It seems it would be stretching that luck to ask for a third brilliant defensive mind to cross Chilly’s radar.
Well, there’s always Ted Cottrell.
Update: Someone must’ve convinced Leslie Frazier that Carroll-to-Seattle isn’t a done deal, because he has decided to interview with them after all.