A few weeks back in my "blow it up" piece I halfheartedly advocated for retaining Leslie Frazier. To be fair, I also wrote that piece after what I thought was going to be the worst loss I'd see this season- a squeaker against the Browns.
Oh, those were the days.
In that piece I did highlight that Frazier had some conditions to meet before he secured my invaluable support. One of them was to start using the talent he had rather than relegate stars to the second string while the ones who SHOULD be backups were starting. Well, to his credit he did do that. Of course some wonder if that was his call or Rick Spielman telling him "or else", but since we don't actually know I'll be generously optimistic and say it was Frazier.
Caveat. I also said he needed to keep the locker room. I've always said that, to me, one of a head coach's top priorities should be keeping morale. And I thought he did a fine job of that in both 2012 and 2011. But what we saw on the field today, by a team that should have been uber-motivated to perform well in honor of Adrian Peterson's terrible loss, well... I just don't have the words.
It was pointed out ad nauseum on the Twitter today that today's loss reeked of the spectacular failure that was the 2010 loss to Green Bay, which was also the straw on a very overloaded camel's back for Brad Childress. Even the score was hauntingly similar. Since it cost one bad HC his job, it went to figure that this loss would do the same for Frazier.
And I'm for it, by the way. He's lost my support. For a guy who was a legit candidate for Coach of the Year last season, he has fallen FAR. Clearly, he benefitted as much from AD's super season as Childress had benefited from Favre's 2009 resurrection. Fortunately we didn't make the same mistake twice and extend a guy before he'd fully proven himself; unfortunately... we really can't fire him right now, either.
See, who, exactly, are you going to get to replace him? Typically interim coaches are promoted within the staff. If the team would prefer to go with an "old hand" like John Gruden or Bill Cowher, or to turn to a college coach like, oh let's say Urban Meyers, then they do that in the offseason and return the interim guy to his original post.
So... if we fire Frazier, who would our interim head coach be, exactly? Bill Musgrave is as useless as a wet rag. Alan Williams has successfully headed the worst defense I think I may have ever seen. Mike Priefer MAY be a halfway decent candidate, but I'm not fully sold on that. Maybe we could give Mike Singeltary another shot? Honestly, has anyone even seen that guy lately?
And there's your conundrum. Frazier has absolutely coached his way out of his job at this point and should be fired by tomorrow morning. But... he won't, and he can't, because the ‘next guys up' are arguably even worse.
So congrats Leslie Frazier, you've managed to keep your job by process of ‘being the least intolerable guy available'. Just make sure your office is ready to pack after Week 17.