Former Vikings HC Not Catching On in This Year’s Carousel

A Minnesota Vikings fan greets other fans in front of the NFL Draft stage during the NFL Draft second and third rounds on Friday, April 26, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. © Mark Zaleski/ For The Tennessean.

Leslie Frazier might get another job in the NFL, but his stock in signing on as a head coach during this year’s coaching carousel doesn’t feel promising.

Former Vikings HC Not Catching On in This Year’s Carousel

The long-time coach threw his hat in the ring this year for HC jobs with the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers, but Las Vegas hired interim head coach Antonio Pierce for the long haul, and Los Angeles is conducting second interviews sans Frazier.

Not Catching On
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports.

In fact, the Chargers recently conducted a second interview with University of Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh, and he’s the current odds-on favorite to lead Los Angeles in 2024. Harbaugh is also the guy labeled by most Chargers fans as the right pick.

Frazier last served as the Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator for six seasons (2017-2022) before two parties amicably split in February 2023. The Bills defense ranked third in the NFL per EPA/Play on his watch. He also 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.

HC Eyeing NFL
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports.

Partaking in the NFL’s Accelerator Program, Frazier said last June via SI.com’s Albert Breer, “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.”

The man is itching to get back in the sport, rest assured.

Vikings Look to Solve an Old-School Puzzle
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports.

The ex-Vikings skipper certainly didn’t prosper in Minnesota, but folks are afforded second chances in life and sports. The man undeniably excelled in Buffalo and perhaps could 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 side.

“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,” Frazier added seven months ago.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

If the 64-year-old strikes out during the head coaching interviewing process — he basically has to pray for a Hail Mary from the Chargers — he could become a hot candidate as defensive coordinator. Soon, new coaches will begin filling out their staffs, and not many men would be as coveted as a DC as Frazier.

He’ll turn 65 in April.

Frazier’s old team, the Bills, were dismissed from the postseason by the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday after kicker Tyler Bass missed a game-tying field goal late in the 4th Quarter.


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 OverTheCap.com.

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