Leslie Frazier May Already Be Done as DC in Tampa Bay
By Dan Zinski
Former Vikings coach Leslie Frazier may be looking for new employment just a year after securing a bounce back job as defensive coordinator under old pal Lovie Smith in Tampa Bay.
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Per reports, the Buccaneers are eyeing former Lions head coach Rod Marinelli as their new DC. These reports do not specify what would happen to Frazier should the Bucs hire Marinelli.
Under Frazier, the Buccaneers dropped from 17th in the league in total defense to 25th. Their occasionally brutal D gave up 56 to the Falcons in week 3 and 48 to the Ravens in week 6. To be fair, the defense did improve late in the season.
In a world where more and more coordinators are moving to hybrid schemes like the one employed by Mike Zimmer, Frazier’s loyalty to the old Tampa-2 makes him appear increasingly prehistoric.
Rod Marinelli himself is a devotee of the base Cover-2 but in Dallas he showed a willingness to mix in a lot of other looks, helping the Cowboys’ defense overcome a lack of high-end talent.
In Dallas, Marinelli seemed to maximize the less-than-stellar talent he was given to work with. On the flip side, Frazier was given decent talent in Tampa Bay and got at best inconsistent production.
A move from Frazier to Marinelli would seem to signal a desire by Lovie Smith to move away from the vanilla and into the brave new world of defensive creativity. The Vikings made that move ahead of 2014 and reaped the benefits in the form of a much-improved defense.
It’s about time Lovie got the message about the Tampa-2 and Leslie Frazier. The former Vikings coach may be a classy guy who serves as a great mentor to his players, but as a defensive mind he was left in the dust a long time ago.
I know some camp counselors who are great mentors but I wouldn’t let them run my defense.