Ex-Vikings HC Interviews with 3rd Team This Offseason

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The offseason has been eventful for former Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier.

Ex-Vikings HC Interviews with 3rd Team This Offseason

He interviewed for head coaching gigs with the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers, but Las Vegas promoted interim boss Antonio Pierce, and Los Angeles signed on Jim Harbaugh’s dotted line.

So, as Frazier apparently struck out via top-job opportunities, he could return to a familiar assignment — defensive coordinator. Frazier will reportedly interview with Miami Dolphins’ skipper Mike McDaniel for the position.

Interviews with 3rd
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ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler tweeted Monday, one day after the NFL’s conference championships, “Former Bills defensive coordinator and NFL head coach Leslie Frazier is interviewing with the Dolphins this week for their defensive coordinator role, per sources.”

Vic Fangio, Miami’s defensive bossman in 2023, vamoosed to the Philadelphia Eagles last week, leaving the Dolphins job vacant. With any luck, Frazier could be back in the sport after two years off.

Head Coach Is Taking
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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 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 coach certainly didn’t flourish in Minnesota, but people 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 thinker, and the Vikings’ defense ranked 28th in the league per EPA/Play from 2011 to 2013. It was not a fit for either side.

Dolphins Name Starting QB vs. Vikings
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Frazier 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.

He’ll turn 65 in April.

The Dolphins’ defense ranked 15th leaguewide in 2023 per EPA/Play, a metric that measures expected points added. Miami ranked 24th per the same metric in 2022, so Fangio fostered a nine-spot improvement.

Not Catching On
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A decision on Frazier to Miami should be announced within a week or so.

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.