So here's something I've been wrestling with for a while. I've had this basic underlying concern about Frazier for the past couple of years now. It's been getting more pronounced as time goes by, and now that he's head coach I just have to ask if there's something to this, or if I'm misunderstanding things.
Frazier, and therefore the Vikings, use the Tampa 2 as their base defensive package. The Tampa 2 relies on a number of factors, but the Middle Linebacker and the two Safeties are key. The safeties in the Tampa 2 ideally are above average cover guys. The strong safety is typically a hard hitter who scares the cr@p out of receivers and backs who come across the middle of the field. The free safety is often used to cover positions left open by a blitzing cornerback (e.g. Winfield) or to blitz themselves and penetrate past blocking backs. Our safeties over the past three years have not fit this profile -- though I liked Sharper a lot. (Note: And even though I liked Sharper a lot in our defense, I recall Sharper claiming that he was stifled in our defensive scheme).
Here's my issue: The safeties are hugely important positions in a Tampa 2 defense, and the Vikings safeties are at the bottom of the league in terms of skill and effectiveness. This year is a little bit better than last year when Tyrell Johnson and Madeau Williams roamed the secondary. However, we're still bad. And we've been very bad for a good part of the last three years at the position. Our safeties haven't been up to the challenge of their role, and Frazier doesn't seem to have been able to coach them up. He also hasn't gone out and found good safeties to take their place. In a defensive package that relies on strong play from both safeties, I can't help but feel it indicates that Frazier hasn't been doing his job effectively at defensive coordinator. Now that he's head coach, I'm even more concerned.
All I hear from announcers during the games is what a great guy and great coach Frazier is. They basically say he's a shoe in to get a head coaching role. However I still can't shake the thought that at a very basic level he hasn't done a key piece of his job all that effectively. Yes, the Viking's front seven have been very effective in the past, but there's a GIANT and GLARING weakness in Frazier's core defensive package, and that weakness has not been addressed in three years -- which is a lifetime in the NFL.
Help me out. What am I missing here?