Raiders Kick off Interview Cycle with Former Vikings Head Coach

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First, the Los Angeles Chargers conducted an interview.

Now, the Las Vegas Raiders are up to bat for an interview with former Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier.

Raiders Kick off Interview Cycle with Former Vikings Head Coach

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted Sunday, “The Raiders head coaching search is finally getting underway: They plan to interview former Vikings coach Leslie Frazier on Tuesday, per source.”

Raiders Kick off
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Frazier last served as the Buffalo Bills’ defensive coordinator for six seasons (2017-2022) before the two parties genially split in February 2023. The Bills defense ranked third in the NFL per EPA/Play on his watch. Since the departure, Frazier has bided his time and even hinted at a return, which could be afoot if the Chargers or Raiders take the plunge.

Participating in the NFL’s Accelerator Program, Frazier said last June via’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.”

Vikings Look to Solve an Old-School Puzzle
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Interim Raiders skipper Antonio Pierce is the frontrunner to stay on board full-time — his players love him — but Las Vegas will conduct a full search nevertheless.

“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.

Frazier 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.

Frazier’s interview with the Chargers occurred on Sunday.

Head Coach Is Taking
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The ex-Vikings skipper certainly didn’t thrive in Minnesota, but folks are afforded second chances in life and sports. The man unmistakably 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 party.

He 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.

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Frazier will turn 65 in April.

The Raiders fired head coach Josh McDaniels on Halloween after a 3-5 start to the season. Under Pierce, Las Vegas finished 5-4 and showcased the NFL’s second-best defense per EPA/Play in the season’s final nine games.

Frazier is considered a longshot for both jobs.

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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