Former Vikings HC Finally Landed New Gig

1st-Rounder Joins Seahawks
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One year off. That’s how long former Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier was without an NFL job.

The 64-year-old is back and will be a part of the Seattle Seahawks coaching staff this offseason and in the 2024 regular season.

Former Vikings HC Finally Landed New Gig

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted Friday, “The Seahawks are hiring Leslie Frazier as their assistant head coach, per sources. The onetime Vikings head coach, Frazier has long been a mentor to Macdonald. Now he joins Macdonald’s staff in Seattle.”

Finally Landed
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The Seahawks hired Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald last week, who becomes the league’s youngest head coach. Frazier will provide a valuable balance of experience in his new role, helping to offset any disadvantage of Macdonald’s youth. Seattle cut ties with long-time skipper Pete Carroll a few weeks ago, the NFL’s oldest head coach in 2023.

Frazier also threw his hat in the ring this year for head coaching jobs with the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers this offseason, but Las Vegas hired interim head coach Antonio Pierce for the long haul, and Los Angeles opted for the University of Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh. The former Vikings skipper also chatted with the Miami Dolphins about a defensive coordinator assignment.

Head Coach Is Taking
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Some feared Frazier would strike out totally this coaching carousel cycle, but the Seahawks prevented that and will hope to improve on a 9-8 record in Carroll’s final season.

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.

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

The Seahawks’ defense ranked 28th per DVOA in 2023, a terrible mark for a usually steady defensive franchise. Hiring Macdonald and Frazier tipped Seattle’s hand about rectifying that side of the ball. On offense, the Seahawks employ plenty of playmakers in D.K. Metcalf, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Kenneth Walker, and Zach Charbonnet.

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Frazier will turn 65 in April.

If the Seahawks don’t qualify for the postseason in 2024, they’d have back-to-back playoff-less seasons for the first time since 2008-2009.

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).

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