Former Vikings Head Coach Has Already Landed 2 Interviews

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The Minnesota Vikings last looked for a new head coach in 2022 after firing Mike Zimmer. He held the job for eight years, leading the franchise to a pair of division championships and two playoff victories, both over the New Orleans Saints. But after missing the postseason in consecutive years and having some internal problems in the locker room and with his general manager, the ownership of the Vikings made a change.

Former Vikings Head Coach Has Already Landed 2 Interviews

Organizations are requested (and advised) to do a comprehensive search for perhaps the most important position within the club, and the Vikings did that, ultimately choosing Kevin O’Connell, who completely changed the culture. Despite the underwhelming second season, there is no sign pointing towards another search for a head coach anytime soon, unlike roughly a quarter of NFL teams this offseason.

Former Vikings Head Coach Has Already Landed 2 Interviews
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Two of those–the Los Angeles Chargers and the Las Vegas Raiders–are interested in former Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier for their top job. On Sunday, the Chargers confirmed their interview with the longtime NFL coach via X, formerly known as Twitter.

The Chargers fired their last skipper, Brandon Staley, after a disastrous Thursday Night game versus the Raiders, who came out victorious 63-21 against their division rivals. Many thought Staley should’ve been canned after the historic breakdown in last season’s playoffs.

The job is considered the most attractive in this cycle as the franchise QB Justin Herbert is already in place. Frazier’s task would be to overhaul the defense, a unit loaded with high-end talent but with underwhelming results. As a defensive specialist, he would make sense for the gig.

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With Herbert under center, the offense should be somewhat capable regardless of the surroundings, but with Keenan Allen in the final stages of his career and Austin Ekeler scheduled to hit free agency, that side of the ball needs some retooling.

But the Raiders, the team that got Staley fired, are also in the mix for the former head coach. Just a few hours after Frazier’s interview with the Chargers, NFL insider Tom Pelissero reported: “The Raiders head coaching search is finally getting underway: They plan to interview former Vikings coach Leslie Frazier on Tuesday, per source.”

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Las Vegas has been a terrible spot for coaches recently, as Jon Gruden and Josh McDaniels have been fired in-season for different reasons. Gruden had done a decent job of squeezing everything out of former franchise quarterback Derek Carr until a scandal led to his release. Meanwhile, McDaniels tried to implement Bill Belichick’s Patriot way, but without players that buy-in and Tom Brady throwing passes, it didn’t work.

Perhaps Frazier’s top challenger for the job is interim head coach Antonio Pierce, who was appointed once the job opened, leading the franchise to a 5-4 record. He has already received multiple interview invitations around the league but should be considered the favorite to be the next head coach in Las Vegas as reports emerged of Maxx Crosby demanding him to keep the job.

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Pelissero on X: “The Raiders haven’t conducted any head-coaching interviews. But there is mounting pressure on owner Mark Davis to retain interim coach Antonio Pierce — including from the locker room, with All-Pro edge rusher Maxx Crosby likely to request a trade if Pierce isn’t retained.”

It remains to be seen if one of those teams hires Frazier and if more teams show interest in the 64-year-old. Frazier was Minnesota’s head coach from 2011-2013 and the interim head coach in 2010, joining the franchise in 2007 as the defensive coordinator.

Head Coach Is Taking
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His last job was with the Bills, where he transformed his side of the ball into one of the league’s best. In the final three years in Buffalo, Frazier’s group ranked fifth in EPA/play. He then decided to take a year off with the intention of making a return to coaching in 2024.

Frazier has a regular season record as a head coach of 21-32-1, but with an additional decade of experience, he certainly deserves another chance.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt