Former Vikings Head Coach Has New Gig

Nov 3, 2019; Kansas City, MO, USA; A general view of a Minnesota Vikings helmet during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Before Kevin O’Connell and Mike Zimmer, the Minnesota Vikings employed a defensive-minded head coach named Leslie Frazier, who oversaw Adrian Peterson’s 2012 MVP campaign.

Former Vikings Head Coach Has New Gig

That season was Frazier’s magnum opus, as the Vikings barnstormed two-thirds of the season on Peterson’s back to a playoff berth, only to be whisked out of the postseason by the Green Bay Packers.

Frazier returned for one more season in purple, the team floundered, and Zimmer took over the following season.

Head Coach Has New
Dec 15, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier watches as his team plays the Philadelphia Eagles at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings won 48-30. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports.

After that, Frazier undertook three more jobs in the NFL — defensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014-2015), the Baltimore Ravens secondary coach (2016), and the Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator (2017-2022).

Now, though, following the split in Buffalo, Frazier, 64, has a new gig, an analyst for NFL Network.

HC Eyeing NFL
Nov 1, 2020; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier prior to the game against the New England Patriots at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports.

KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson tweeted on the X app Monday morning, “NFL made this official today, naming Pep Hamilton as an analyst along with Leslie Frazier, David Shaw, Gerald McCoy, Robert Turbin and Chase Daniel.”

Frazier unmistakably excelled in Buffalo and could eventually lead another team with more success than he did with the Vikings from 2011 to 2013. In those seasons, Minnesota posted an 18-29-1 (.385) record, the eighth-worst in the NFL during the timeframe. Too, Frazier was hired as a defensive guru, and the Vikings defense ranked 28th in the league per EPA/Play from 2011 to 2013. It was not a fit for either party.

Head Coach Is Taking
Oct 31, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier walks the field prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports.

He interviewed with the Chicago Bears and New York Giants during 2022’s coaching carousel, but the Bears landed on Matt Eberflus while the Giants hired Brian Daboll — the team that beat the Vikings in the postseason about 11 months later.

The ex-Vikings skipper was also whispered in the rumor mill for the Indianapolis Colts job down the stretch of the 2022 season when Frank Reich was fired, but Jeff Saturday took over as the interim coach.

Sep 26, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier on the field before a game against the Washington Football Team at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports.

Frazier is also reportedly eyeing a head coaching job in a few months. He took part in the NFL’s Accelerator Program this spring and summer.

He told’s Albert Breer about his plans, “Man, early on, this is the third month. So for me, that first month or two, it was hard, man, just trying to find my rhythm and getting used to having free time. It’s been so long, more than 30 years, since I haven’t been on a schedule this time of the year. So it was a challenge just trying to figure out what to do with myself. But over the last three or four weeks, things have gotten a lot better as far as me being organized in how I want to spend my time.”

“Hopefully, an owner will give me a chance to talk to him about an opportunity. If that doesn’t happen, I’m good. I’ve had a good career. I’m good. My goal is to be a head coach. I know I don’t have much time left, I’m at an age where it seems like owners are going younger and younger, but I think I have some things I can bring to the table. We’ll see what happens,’ he added.

He’ll assuredly be visible with the NFL Network gig, perhaps helping Frazier land his first head coaching assignment since 2013.

The Bills defense ranked third leaguewide per defensive EPA/Play on Frazier’s watch.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by