Our friends over at Football Outsiders have released their "Aggressiveness Index" for the 2012 NFL season, and it turns out that Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier is one of the least aggressive coaches in the league when it comes to going for it on fourth down.
The Aggressiveness Index is a measure of how much more likely a coach is to go for it on fourth down in a non-obvious situation than the average head coach. "Average," in this case, is represented by a rating of 1.0. So, as FO explains, a coach that has an Aggressiveness Ranking of 1.20 is 20% more likely to go for it than the "average" coach. (If you want a full rundown of which situations the Index excludes, it's explained in the link above.)
Out of the 34 coaches that stood on NFL sidelines in 2012, Coach Frazier came in at #27 on the Aggressiveness Index, getting a rating of 0.75. That means that he was 25% less likely to go for it on fourth down in a non-obvious situation than the average NFL coach. And he wasn't even the least aggressive coach in the NFC North. . .Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz came in second from the bottom with an AI of 0.65.
Now, a big reason for this has to be a certain young fellow by the name of Blair Walsh, who spent most of 2012 being nearly automatic. After all, when you have a guy that's in field goal range basically as soon as he comes out of the tunnel, you don't have to be quite so aggressive.
The 2012 Aggressiveness Index took plays in opponent's territory into account. The 2011 version did not, and Leslie Frazier ranked #32 out of 35 qualifying coaches that season.
What do you think about Leslie Frazier's level of aggressiveness? Do you think he needs to take more chances on fourth downs, or are things basically fine the way they are?