Former Vikings head coach is still hoping for a second chance in the NFL

(Photo by Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports) Leslie Frazier
(Photo by Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports) Leslie Frazier /

Former Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier recently talked about the frustrations he’s felt after getting passed over for multiple head coach openings.

As the team’s defensive coordinator, former Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier has helped transform the Buffalo Bills defense into one of the NFL’s top units. In two of the last three seasons with Frazier leading the way, the Bills have finished with a top-two defense in terms of points allowed.

Given the success of Buffalo’s defense, Frazier has interviewed for multiple head coach openings around the league in the recent past. Unfortunately for the former Vikings head coach, he’s been passed over for each opening that he’s interviewed for.

Frazier, who is now 63-years-old, recently shared some of the frustrations that he’s experienced from not getting selected for multiple head coaching vacancies.

Former Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier calls getting passed over for job openings “discouraging”

The last time Frazier was a head coach in the NFL was with Minnesota in 2013. That Vikings team finished with a 5-10-1 record and they missed the playoffs for the second time in Frazier’s three seasons as the head coach.

Almost 10 years later, the former Minnesota head coach is still hoping to get another shot at becoming the leader for an NFL franchise.

During a recent appearance on the “AP Pro Football Podcast“, Frazier talked about some of the feelings he’s experienced as a result of getting passed over for multiple head coach openings over the years.

"“It’s discouraging in some ways, but you just have to be able to control what you can control. I’m going to do the very best I can and help us to have another good defense in 2022 and help the Buffalo Bills win as many games as we can and put us in a position to compete for the world championship.”"

The former Vikings head coach also talked about how he believes it’s “narrow-minded” to think that coaches with an offensive background are the only ones worthy of getting a head coaching job with a team that has a young quarterback.

"“There have been a lot of defensive head coaches that have won Super Bowls in our league because at the end of the day, you need the right leadership.It’s unfortunate. I think it’s very narrow-minded to only see the head coach as an offensive guy because you have a young quarterback. You need the right leader in that role because you’ve got to be able to handle multiple responsibilities, not just call offensive plays. I just think that’s a misguided approach, but I’m not the guy doing the hiring.”"

Frazier does have a point in that a coach with an offensive background isn’t necessarily going to be a better head coach for a team with a young quarterback than a coach with a defensive or special teams background.

Plenty of offensive-minded head coaches like Freddie Kitchens, Matt Nagy, and Adam Gase have failed in the recent past after they were hired to help develop a team’s young quarterback.

But being a coach with a defensive background probably isn’t the biggest thing that has prevented Frazier from getting another head coaching job. His age certainly plays a large factor.

Very few teams around the NFL are interested in hiring someone in their mid-60s to be their new head coach. Teams want a younger coach, with a more modern approach, who can also relate closer to the players in his locker room.

The recent success rate of NFL head coaches hired in their 60s also isn’t helping Frazier’s case to be a head coach again. David Culley and Vic Fangio are two of the most recent over-60 head coaching hires and they had a combined winning percentage of 34.8.

Bruce Arians is someone who didn’t get his first head-coaching gig until his 60s and he’s been able to experience a bunch of success. But Arians does have an offensive background and the most success he’s had during the last few years has been helped by having the NFL’s greatest quarterback ever starting under center. So evaluate that how you want.

Will Frazier ever get another chance to be a head coach in the NFL again? His time to do that is definitely running out, but if he has the Bills’ defense playing at an elite level again in the upcoming season, it’s going to be even more difficult for teams to turn him down.

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